‘We are each responsible for our own conduct.’ Galatians 6:5 NLT
Sally managed a small marketing company, and when problems arose she automatically looked for a scapegoat. At sales meetings she berated and criticised her co-workers, choosing to call her tirades ‘pep talks’. Her associates began to resign in droves, and when company revenues declined Sally blamed it on the slow economy, inefficient staff and bad working conditions. Finally her boss had enough and fired her. Blame-shifting was how Sally survived. It never occurred to her that she may have contributed to the problem, in even a small way. Blaming others undermines your ability to be ‘responsible for [your] own conduct’. Brenda Shoshanna writes: ‘Instead of becoming stronger you become weaker. People think if they admit to being part of the problem it means they’ve failed in some way. In reality the opposite is true. It takes strength to concede that everyone involved played a part. Another side effect of blame throwing is self-righteousness. In your mind you become unassailable, different, and better than others. You think you’re the strong one and other people are flawed. Nothing could be further from the truth; the Bible says, “Too much pride will destroy you.” (Proverbs 16:18 CEV) When you blame others you lose your ability to see what’s really going on. And you’re shocked when you lose a relationship or a job because you never saw it coming… When you stop blaming others you develop compassion. You realise mistakes are natural and inevitable—and they’re just mistakes. They can be corrected. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or other people.’ So: take responsibility for your own life.
SoulFood: Ex 13–15, Jn 1:43–51, Ps 131, Prov 26:7–9
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023