This past month, my posts have centered around Lynn’s quote in Marching Around Jericho, in which she noted that there are several key components to solidifying our identity in Christ. One of those key components was to reject lies regarding our identity and embracing Sonship. (pg. 71-72)
In my last post I wrote on the lie that held me captive for years - People Pleaser - “You must be approved by others to feel good about your self-worth. Read about it here.
Today, I want to touch on the oldest lie played out by mankind – BLAME. Blame means to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.
It all started when Adam and Eve blamed one another, as well as the old serpent, when they disobeyed God's instructions not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God is a holy God, and could not allow sin to go unnoticed. In The Old Covenant, the blood of animals was used as payment for man's sin once a year. But, in The New Covenant, God's Son, Jesus, became the permanent solution to the sin problem.
By this the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the PROPITIATION for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
The key word in that scripture is Propitiation, which means “satisfaction.” Sinful man deserved God’s righteous wrath, but when Christ died on the cross, He was our substitute. Jesus took upon Himself the righteous wrath of God we deserved. By being the substitute, Jesus averted the wrath of God from sinful man. (Search For Significance)
Man's sin debt was paid in full!
And yet, we allow the devil to feed us the lie, "You failed; you are no longer worthy of love and you deserve to be PUNISHED, and the Blame Game continues with mankind today, along with his devised ways of punishment.
Most Christian authors say there are two primary ways blame and punishment play out. Let’s apply God’s finished work on The Cross as the solution to the BLAME lie.
1. Blaming Others
It is easier to blame someone else for our mistakes than to accept responsibility ourselves. For example: “If I had had better parents, my life would have been different," and the list goes on, pointing our fingers at others.
And that is when we devise punishment for those we believe have derailed our lives. For many, it takes on the form of using verbal or physical abuse, criticizing, or withholding affection.
Let’s view this concept through the eyes of a child. When my grandson, Zach, was 5 years old, his mom was explaining the Easter story to him like this: “Jesus shed His blood on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to be punished when we do wrong things.” Zach figured it out quickly and said, “Well, Jesus may not punish me, but you sure do, Mom!”
We all make mistakes, but Jesus just wants us to accept the responsibility, ask His forgiveness, and move on.
Jesus dealt specifically with blaming others when several men decided to stone a woman caught in adultery. He told them the person without sin should throw the first stone. And with that, all of the accusers walked away as they remembered their own sins. (John 8:3-9)
2. BLAMING OURSELVES FOR OUR FAILURES
On the opposite side of the spectrum of blaming others is blaming ourselves, which brings with it self-induced punishment. This punishment consists of carrying around a heavy load of guilt that reduces our self-worth into a bottomless pit.
Having worked in women ministries over the years, I met women with heartbreaking stories who were carrying a load of guilt from their past. I will never forget the young lady in my Grieving class. She wept uncontrollably as she confided in me that she had had two abortions at the age of 15 and 16. I cannot put into words the shame and guilt this young lady carried around with her.
All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God, therefore there will be times when we fail, but that does not mean we are failures. There is a big difference in assuming responsibility for our failures than continuing to operate in blaming, condemning, and living in a self-induced punishment of guilt.
After salvation, Romans spells it out clearly: There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV)
Unlike games we play to win, the more we play the blame game, the more we lose. The main thing we lose is our identity in Christ. If you have bought into the blame lie, I’d like to pray with you in the comments to reject the lie and solidify your identity in Christ.