Bypassing The Dead-End Street of Blame

 

“Stop blaming others for your trouble, and deal with it. This does not mean that others did not cause it; it just means that you have to deal with it. Blaming others is a dead-end street.”[i] —Henry Cloud

Today’s Verse: “What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].” (1 Corinthians 2:9 AMP)

 

Blame is as destructive as worry. We blame our bosses, the doctors, our circumstances, the decisions we made or didn’t make. We blame others. We blame ourselves. We live under the results of a culture of blame.

Just as worry blocks a clear vision of the future, blame blocks God’s path because our mind is fixed on what is behind us.

The Israelites in the Old Testament give us an idea of what this looks like. In Numbers 14, 20, and 21, the people are going around the same mountain of regret and blame. They just want to die in the wilderness. They see nothing but the negative in their future, so much so that they desire to go back into slavery.

God gave them perfect food . . . and they hated it. God presented them with the Promised Land . . . yet they were impatient, depressed, and discouraged. They were even tired of miracles.

They blamed Moses. They blamed God. As a result, they weren’t interested in taking God’s path for them.

In today’s verse, Paul reminds us that when we love Jesus, obey Him, and move out in action under His control and plan, we’ll see blessing that has been “made and kept ready.” Why would anyone want to look back when there’s so much available ahead of them? We don’t need to think about yesterday; we just need to believe that God has prepared more goodness than we can imagine for those who love Him.

When we’re experiencing loss, we can’t spend our time wondering about what could have been and longing for what we have lost. We can’t spend time listing examples of how we were mistreated. We can’t spend time blaming ourselves or complaining. We must let go of what’s behind us, choose to act on what God wants us to do next, and move toward it in obedience to His voice.

Loss can seem to crush our dreams. Even though we’re shattered, God has a way of putting it all back together and showing us new steps to take. Steps that we’ve never seen before. He is showing us a new path that’s ahead, not one of blame, discouragement, and regret.

INSIGHT: Blame is a destructive action that leads to bitterness, resentment, and unresolved anger. We cannot allow it to blur God’s future plan for us.

PRAYER: Ask God to help heal your wounds. Ask Him to help you forgive anyone whom you blame or whom you feel is responsible for this difficulty in your life. Forgiveness is a critical part of your healing. Pray for God’s blessing upon those associated with, and perhaps responsible for, your loss. Like forgiveness, this will help clear your mind of destructive blame and bitterness.

LIFE CHOICES:

  • Study Leviticus 19:18, Proverbs 12:16, and Ephesians 4:31–32. Pay particular attention to the people’s attitude and God’s response. Remember they didn’t make it into the Promised Land. How did blame keep them from God’s plan?
  • Understand the power of worship and celebrate all that God has done in your life. Celebrate all that He will be doing as you step out, in faith and obedience.
  • Discover what happens when you stop blaming others and begin to hold yourself accountable for your own happiness. Open the path God is creating by taking responsibility and moving forward in His hands.

 

[i] Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal: How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing House, 1990, 1992), E-book edition.

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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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