We all want someone to blame. When things go wrong in life – and they inevitably do – it is human nature to point the finger at someone else who failed to do their part. Typically the person who bears the greatest blame is the leader. That is true in a family, in a church, and in government. And while there is no doubt that leaders often fail it has become socially acceptable and sadly commonplace to put all blame on the man at the front.
But is that always true?
I heard a lady last week mockingly blame the failure of her marriage on the pastor who married she and her husband many years ago. He must not have done something right. Really?
Parents may attribute problems in the lives of their children to youth leaders or school teachers, when the seeds of destruction were often sown at home. It is easy to accuse others in an effort to excuse our own failures.
It is natural to blame the shepherd when sheep wander, or get dirty, or fight. But what about the sheep? Do they bear any responsibility?
Every person must accept their own accountability to God. Stop blaming the pastor. Stop blaming another church member. Stop blaming a spouse. Stop blaming enemies. Ask yourself the question that every sincere disciple asked himself on the night of the Lord’s betrayal, “Is it I?” (Matthew 26:22)
Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the devil. But every man and woman is personally responsible for their actions and reactions. Wounding others will never heal your hurt.
David was quick to judge the man in Nathan’s story until he heard, “Thou art the man.” When he finally humbled himself all he could say was, “I have sinned.” That is a good place for all of us to begin.
Some people live their entire lives playing the blame game. But you never win that game…and others lose out along the way.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
Leaders are not always right. Like every sinner, they make mistakes and fail. Honest people understand this truth. Pray for those God has placed over you (1 Timothy 3:1-2; Hebrews 13:17-18) and refuse to join the chorus of critics who simply want someone to blame. Accept responsibility for your own heart and home.
At the judgment seat of Christ none of us will be pointing at someone else. It will be just me and God that day. Live today that same way.