“He hit me!”
“Yeah because you threw your shoe at me.”
“But he called me dumb first.”
I sure hope I’m not the only mom who referees this type of conversation with her kids. Please tell me you can relate!
This kind of behavior has been around as long as sin.
When God confronted Adam and Eve in the Garden after they had eaten the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the finger pointing began.
“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’” (Genesis 3:11-13).
Adam blamed Eve. But he didn’t stop there. He goes so far as to insinuate God was partly to blame for putting the woman in the garden to begin with. And when God turned to Eve, she blamed the serpent.
I do it, too. I look for someone else to blame when I’ve sinned.
But he cut me off in traffic.
But they didn’t do what I told them to do.
But she spread nasty gossip about me.
But he said he would be home in time for dinner tonight.
But God You didn’t give me a chance.
My guess is you have your own list of buts.
We try to absolve ourselves of guilt, justify our actions, share the blame, and abdicate personal responsibility.
Using the bad behavior of others to excuse our own, only deceives ourselves (1 John 1:8).
Sin is still sin, even when somebody else sins against us first.
I’m trying to teach my boys (as I preach to myself) that we are all responsible for our own actions. We don’t have to react when we’ve been wronged. Nobody can make us sin.
Our actions are never justified by what has been done to us. We are only justified by the blood of Christ. He suffered the consequences for all our sins though He was without any of his own.
So, the next time I find myself pointing a finger at another person to justify my actions, I pray I’ll turn toward the cross instead.
Word of the Day: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8
Forgive me for all the times I have tried to excuse my actions by pointing out other’s faults. I know that nothing escapes Your all-seeing presence and no sin goes unnoticed. Thank you for sending Your Son to die for all my sins and for teaching me how to live according to Your loving law. By Your Spirit, help me to live in peace with all people. Amen.
Author: Liz Giertz