Oct. 21 - Relational Conflict, Part 2 - Avoiding the Blame Game
“It’s not my fault!” “She started it!” “He took my toy!” “You hit me!” It’s not long after we first start speaking that we began using our language skills to shift blame to others. In the same way, Adam and Eve tried to deflect the blame of their very first sins.
Genesis 3:12-13 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
It seems to come naturally, this desire to blame others for our shortcomings, but this is far from how God wants us to live. We need to be repentant for our sins, but when we start to play the blame game, it shifts our focus off our own contribution to the conflict. It turns our eyes towards the speck in the eye of our neighbor, rather than focusing on the plank in our own. Jesus warns of this in his Parable of the Rich Fool:
Luke 12:13-15 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Jesus wanted him to see that his conflict stemmed from his own greed rather than what was occurring with this brother. Small conflicts can grow to make us ineffective as a body of Christ. Instead let us turn our conflicts around by ending the blame game. Pray that our relationships will be full of humility. Then before an accusation leaves your mouth, give true consideration to your own role in the conflict.