BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR SINS
It is very common for people to try to blame their mistakes on others. People have a tendency to want to shift responsibility; to pass guilt on to someone else.
There is also a tendency to blame SIN on other people. This was done in biblical times by such people as Adam, Eve, Aaron, and King Saul. Regrettably, the blaming of sin on others also takes place a lot today. Commonly blamed for people's sins today are:
1. Satan- The idea "the Devil made me do it" is very common. At least people who say this realize that Satan is involved in sin. However, they may not understand that responsibility for sin cannot be shifted to Satan. Eve, in the beginning, tried to blame Satan when she sinned. She partook of the forbidden fruit and said in Genesis 3:13, " . . . The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." It is true that Satan tempts people; he does influence people to sin (I Cor. 7:5). However, Satan can be resisted (James 4:7), and the fact that Satan tempts us does not mean that we are not responsible for our sins. It does no good to try and shift the blame to Satan.
2. God - Some people actually try to blame God for their sins. Perhaps this is what Aaron was trying to do in Exodus 32 when he tried to explain the golden calf that he made for the people to worship. He pointed out in verse 24 that the people gave him the gold, and he went on to say, " . . . then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf." Was he trying to say that it was some kind of miracle from God?
It is important to understand that God is not responsible for our sins. James 1:13 says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man . . . ." Thus, we cannot blame God.
3. Wives- Some husbands try to blame their wives for a lot of things; some even try to blame them for their sins.
Consider one Old Testament example. Earlier we noted that Eve tried to blame Satan for her sin. Adam did not try to blame Satan; instead, he tried to blame his wife, Eve, for his part in the eating of the forbidden fruit. Eve actually did give her husband the fruit to eat. She obviously had an influence on his deed. Nevertheless, that did not make him less guilty.
When a man feels an inclination to shift responsibility for his sins to his wife to justify himself, he should consider the Old Testament example of Job and his wife. Job suffered much affliction, and his wife told him that he ought to just curse God and die. Job rebuked her and said in Job 2:10, " . . . shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips." Job resisted his wife's bad advice.
4. Husbands- At times, a woman who is a faithful Christian will have a husband who is not a Christian. Sometimes she may be neglectful in her service to God, and when confronted about her neglect, she may blame her spiritual problems on her husband. Again, the husband may have caused her to have become discouraged. Generally, it is more difficult for a person to be faithful to God if his/her spouse is unfaithful. Yet, the wife is still responsible for her sins. Many other women have remained faithful to God even though their husbands have discouraged them spiritually by their words and deeds.
Peter gave some good advice to women, whose husbands were not believers, in I Peter 3:1 when he said, "Likewise, ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives." The woman is to win her husband to Christ by her "conversation" i.e. manner of life.
5. Preachers- Sometimes people get offended by something that a preacher says in his sermon and refuse to attend any more services. They sometimes blame their unfaithfulness on the preacher when they are asked about their neglect. It may have been that the preacher said something that was correct and needful in his sermon. II Timothy 4:2 says that he is to "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine." It is also true that a preacher can make a mistake in judgment as preachers are not perfect. Regardless of mistakes that others might make, we must remain faithful to God. We can blame the preacher for our neglect, but we are still responsible and must answer to God.
6. Other Christians- Sometimes a Christian is mistreated by another Christian. He then may try and excuse his neglect in serving God by the fact that he was mistreated. Some might say that they will not attend services because there are "so many hypocrites there." These are trying to blame their spiritual neglect on others, but they are still responsible for their sins.
Many people take the easiest course with regard to their sins. Instead of repenting, they simply blame others. It does no good for us to shift responsibility.
A person who is not a Christians must believe (Heb. 11:6), repent (Acts 17:30-31), confess Christ (Rom. 10:10, and be baptized (Acts 2:38). A Christian who sins must repent, pray, and confess his sins (Acts 8:22, James 5:16, I Jn. 1:8-10). God will not excuse any of us because of what someone else did or did not do.
By Mike Johnson
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