Blame came into humanity early. The first recorded blame shift is in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve chose sin, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake. (Gen 3) We shouldn’t be surprised that blame finds its way into our every day lives. We can’t deny that we have pointed our fingers at others, especially at those who have wounded us. Whether or not we are justified in our accusations is irrelevant. Blame is completely useless.
Blaming Doesn’t Solve the Problem
Even if the blame has been shifted, the issue at hand still remains. The problem you face will not disappear because you have pointed your finger at someone else. Blaming your parents for your baggage won’t set you free. Blaming your spouse for your misery won’t make you happy. Blaming your kids for your stress won’t bring you peace.
Although we cannot deny that the poor decisions of others have affected us, holding onto the idea that someone else is responsible for the struggle inside yourself will never bring resolve. Blaming never solves a problem, it simply sustains it. It creates a larger trench between the problem and the solution. Nothing is solved when no one takes on their own responsibility. Even bystanders hurt in the act have a responsibility to face.
Blame Doesn’t Free You From Responsibility
Every person is responsible for their own actions, and that includes reactions. Bitterness is a reaction. Hatred is a reaction. Refusing to move forward is a reaction. All three of these reactions do not manipulate the other party to repent, they instead only torture us to our grave. Saint Augustine said, “Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.” Blame is ultimately resentment, and resentment is poison to our souls.
When we have been mistreated, when we have been led astray, when our expectations have been unfulfilled, we have the responsibility of choosing our next steps. It is our responsibility to forgive. It is our responsibility to speak up in love. It is our responsibility to move on and heal. No one else can do these things for us, no matter how much blame we put on them.
Blame Does Not Deepen Relationships
If your goal in life is to never have deep relationships, blaming others is a great way to reach that goal. A pointed finger keeps everyone at arm’s length. The blame you hold against your spouse, your kids, or your parents will destroy your relationship, and ruin any chance of deep intimacy.
Not all relationships should be deepened. There are some relationships that need boundaries, and some relationships that need to be completely severed. But realize that the blame you hold onto will create a wall between you and the person on the other side of your pointed finger. If this is a person you love and long to be closer to, you will need to let go of your resentment.
When Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake, no one escaped the consequences. Regardless of who was at fault, every person involved felt the impact and was held responsible for their actions. Blame will never give us the freedom we desire, only forgiveness will. When we let go of the blame, we can solve the problem at hand, move forward, and strengthen our broken relationships.