12) And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.Genesis 3:12 (KJV)
Introduction – The “Blame Game”
Have you ever blamed someone else for something wrong that you did?
Maybe there have been times when you’ve said things like, “The devil made me do it,” or “She started it!”
If you’ve ever reacted this way (and we all have) then you’re no stranger to the “blame game.”“We naturally seek to blame everyone else for our sins.”
Our propensity to throw others “under the bus” isn’t new. Its been going on since Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden.
Because of this, we naturally seek to blame everyone else for our sins.
While blaming others might seem to be advantageous at first glance, we will see in this Bible study that it only leads to heartache for both believers and non-believers.
We will also look at how to properly respond when we are confronted with our sins, and why such a response frees us from the problem of following our own morality.
Adam’s Self-Centered Reaction
Notice how Adam reacted when God asked him if he had eaten of the tree.
Adam played the biggest blame game in history; he immediately pointed the finger at Eve and blamed her.
You can hear the arrogance and pride in Adam’s voice – “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree.”
Adam’s denial and pride were so great that he not only blamed Eve, he also blamed God by implying that he had made a mistake when creating Eve.“When his sin found him out, none of God’s precepts mattered to Adam. He was only concerned about himself.”
In that moment God’s laws and blessings meant nothing to Adam. It was all Eve’s fault and God’s too because he should have created a better person for him.
It did not matter that Eve (and all women) are precious gifts from God (Gen. 2:18), that God set ground rules for Adam’s protection (Gen. 2:17) or that Adam was to lovingly lead Eve and not allow her to fall into sin. (1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:25)
When his sin found him out, none of God’s precepts mattered to Adam. He was only concerned about himself.
Adam’s selfish attitude manifested itself with him acting as his own god.
While the blame game might have deluded Adam into thinking he was in control of things, and while it might have temporarily inoculated him from any consequences he was trying to avoid, his actions nevertheless brought sin into the world and caused he and Eve to be banished from Eden. (Gen. 3:24)
Here’s the point, blaming others and God gets us nowhere.“Sin is a great deceiver; its benefits are transitory at best.”
Sure, we think that when we slough off our sin and blame someone else that it makes everything good on our side of the fence.
However, sin is a great deceiver; its benefits are transitory at best.
While passing the buck might make things appear better for us in the short term, our sins always find us out in the end. (Gal. 6:7-8)
Moreover, the blame game can cause irreparable harm to others and can have deleterious effects on our Christian life.
Adam tarnished his relationship with God and his wife when he blamed them for his sin. He also lost sight of God’s blessings and love for him.
Whenever we assert ourselves above God we do not merely err, we hurt ourselves, others and our relatiosnhip with our creator because God knows best, and we don’t.
Additionally, when we play the blame game we dismiss God’s blessings and look at our circumstances in entirely false and wrong ways. Think about these examples…
You do something wrong on the job and blame your employer. When you do that, you are in effect saying, “This job isn’t best for me, its not worth my time.”
It does not matter if you actually love your job, or if it has been a tremendous blessing to you.“Whenever we assert ourselves above God we do not merely err, we hurt ourselves, others and our relatiosnhip with our creator because God knows best, and we don’t.”
As soon as you’re caught in the wrong you view your job with the harshest disdain, whisking it away to save face.
Perhaps a friend suspects you did something wrong. Being wise to their inquiry you tell them it was another friend of yours who did whatever it is they are holding you accountable for.
In so doing you send a direct message to all parties involved that your friend is not worthy of your respect.
Perhaps God has entrusted you with said person and has blessed you with the gift of friendship with them.
However you don’t care, you undermine the friendship and God by blaming the friend for your sin.
In both of these instances the blame game not only causes ruinous results, it distorts our reality and lies to us and others. It ruins what God has so graciously given us.
Man’s Morality vs. God’s
The consequences that come with blaming God and others for one’s sins are not only relegated to believers though.
Failing to own up to sin (which is why people blame others and God) is a tactic used by countless individuals to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
Just like with believers, those who are not Christians and who fail to admit and acknowledge their sins are essentially telling God that they know what is best and that their sins are not their fault.
Like Adam they take the role of a god.“People still blame others even when they do not believe in God because they still adhere to some code of morality. Its merely their code of morality they follow.”
Yet the ramifications of such an attitude are even worse for non-believers than for believers.
Such an attitude keeps unbelievers from heaven and eternal life with Jesus.
Now, some might protest that we only blame others if we choose to believe in sin and God.
If we don’t believe in God than it does not matter, we can blame everyone for anything and be just fine.
However, if there is no God or sin then we ought not to blame him or anyone else for our wrongs because such a worldview implies that there is no objective right or wrong.
The problem is that blaming others implies an understanding of wrongdoing. If an individual does not believe in sin, God or both, then why play the blame game at all?
Because there are God given rights and wrongs whether we acknowledge them or not.
People still blame others even when they do not believe in God because they still adhere to some code of morality. Its merely their code of morality they follow.
But, as we have and shall see in the remainder of this lesson, any morality without God is futile and foolish. (Ps. 14:1)
Conclusion – Rest in God’s Ways
When we blame God and others for our wrongs, we falsely elevate ourselves above God.
As believers we willingly choose to disregard his laws and we treat his blessings with disdain because we think we know better than him.
Nonbelievers do exactly the same thing. They too substitute God’s laws for their own.
Yet the truth is, every time we try to be God, we fall into an endless spiral of self-justification where we have to continually justify ourselves by ourselves.
That way of life never works in the end because we’re not God nor can we ever be him, nor are we supposed to be him.“Every time we try to be God, we fall into an endless spiral of self-justification.”
This is exactly why God forbade Adam and Eve to eat the fruit in the first place. His best for us involves his design and purpose for us. He beckons us to be in relationship with him and to honor and glorify him. (Rev. 4:11)
What we must realize and accept is that owning up to our sins, while not easy, sets us free.
We come to Christ by admitting our sins and asking him to save us. (Rom. 10:9-10)“The next time you find yourself in a situation where you are confronted by your own sin, own up to it. Choose God’s ways over your own. Be set free.”
We build a life worthy of a saint, acceptable and approved by God, by treating God’s blessings as sacred and by honoring his laws.
It is when we blame God and others, and fail to admit our sins and need for God that we become enslaved by sin and our own ways of living.
In fact, this is the great deception that Adam and Eve chose to fall into in the first place. (Gen. 3:1)
Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you are confronted by your own sin, own up to it. Choose God’s ways over your own. Be set free.
Don’t blame others or God. Ask for forgiveness, move forward, live and rest in the only one who can restore and lead your life in the best way possible. (Ps. 18:30)
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The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, 1791. Benjamin West (painter) American, 1738 – 1820. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art. Avalon Fund and Patrons’ Permanent Fund. 1989.12.1.