Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I opened up the topic of the blame game. Life seems easier when you’re a victim and you blame somebody else. It was my parents’ fault or my star sign, that’s where I was born or something like that—my upbringing, I just had a rough time.
And I said that the Apostle Paul hit the nail on the head saying, “I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18 – NIV). So he doesn’t try to find a scapegoat for his own problems by blaming society or blaming someone else. He just owns up to his own situation.
The apostle Paul explains that our biggest obstacle to progress lies within our own sinful nature. It’s not popular today to say, “I am a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness”.
The Blame Game Started in the Garden of Eden
In fact this tendency to blame others goes all the way back to Adam. We read this in Genesis in the Old Testament. You know what happened in the garden. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, and later, when God asked Adam what was going on, Adam did a wonderful job of blame-shifting.
“That woman,” he said, “gave me some fruit.” So it was her fault. But that wasn’t all he said. “That woman you gave me,” he said. In others words, So it was partly your fault, God. And then she said, Well, really, it was the devil’s fault: the serpent deceived me.” Adam had lots of blame to go around, didn’t he? But who does the Bible say was really responsible? Paul summed it up: “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin.” (Romans 5:12) That one man Paul refers to is Adam.
This tendency to place blame is part of our fallen, human nature. It’s something we need to watch out for. When it creeps in, and we start shifting responsibility away from ourselves and start pointing fingers at everyone else.
A Man With a Good Excuse to Complain
Nick Vujicic has an amazing story. He was born without arms and legs. If anybody ever had an excuse to complain, Nick does. If anybody ever had an excuse to be angry at God, Nick does. If anybody ever had an excuse to live a life dependent on others, Nick does. Instead, do you know what Nick does? He’s a motivational speaker and an evangelist. At the age of 17 he started his own non-profit corporation and he travels throughout the world speaking to schools and churches about dealing with disabilities and overcoming obstacles.
He has no arms and legs, but he does have a foot with two toes, so he used it to learn how to write, and to work a computer, and to throw a tennis ball, and to make coffee. One night Nick preached to a packed stadium—I think it was in India—and 30,000 people decided to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Nick is a living example of what happens when someone says, “I won’t complain, I won’t place blame. I’m taking responsibility for my life.”