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Insights from Genesis 3 - Part 7

7. Blame Game

Genesis 3:12, "The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate."

Genesis 3:13, "And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Hubert H. Humphrey, the thirty-eighth Vice President of the United States, once said, “We believe that to err is human. To blame it on someone else is politics.” If what Hubert said is true then politics began in the Garden of Eden. The first man and woman were great politicians in blame game. It is no wonder to see this attitude in men and women today. When the Lord God asked Adam, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate" (Gen. 3:11-12).

If we observe carefully, it seems Adam blamed two persons. He first blamed God. He said, “The woman whom You gave…” It appears Adam was blaming God for giving Eve to be with him. Perhaps, he is saying, he would have been an obedient man if God didn’t have given him the woman; his life would have been smooth if God had not brought this woman into his life. How sad it is that people still blame God today! I have seen folks blaming God more for putting the knowledge of the tree of good and evil in the Garden of Eden than holding Adam responsible for his disobedience.

It saddens my heart when I look at people making their own choices against the wisdom of God and then blaming Him for putting them in crisis. I am reminded of a Scripture in Proverbs, “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD” (Pro. 19:3, NLT). Are you blaming God for the consequences of your choice? Are you questioning, “Why did God put me into this situation? Why did He let this happen to me?” Perhaps it is because you made wrong choices. Examine the root cause and make amends. Life turns beautiful if we learn to thank God and repent of our unwise choices than blame Him and continue to make foolish mistakes. There is a proverb from India, “Do not blame God for having created the tiger, but thank him for not having given it wings.”

The second person Adam blamed was Eve. He said that it is the woman who gave him the fruit (Gen. 3:12). To put it different, Adam is saying, if this woman had not given me the fruit I wouldn’t have eaten it. Well, didn’t Adam have the freedom to deny Eve’s offer? Was he a sucking baby in a stroller or a mature man to make his own choice? How often is this blaming attitude manifested in interpersonal relationships! Bear this in mind, no one can spoil us without our permission. Of course, others may influence us but it we who allow ourselves to be influenced. When facing conflicts how easy it is to blame others and deny taking personal responsibility! Blaming each other will never make things better – in fact, it only worsens. Someone rightly said, “When you blame others, you give up power to change.”

Charles R. Swindoll well pointed out, "Three of the hardest words in the English language are "You are right." The other three are "I am wrong!" I wonder how many broken relationships can be healed if we learn to stop blaming each other and start accepting personal responsibility. The more we blame the more we make ourselves lame. As much as we are eager to take credit for success, if we show the same eagerness in taking personal responsibility for failures, things would turn out quite different. Unfortunately, our tendency is to take credit when it comes to success (even when we don’t deserve) and blame others when it comes to failures (when we deserve). I appreciate the person who put this question, “If you blame others for your failures, do you credit them with your success?”

And the last thing that was blamed in the fall of man was the serpent. When God asked Eve, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate" (Gen. 3:13). As someone humorously put it, “Adam blamed his wife, his wife blamed the serpent, and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on.” Now, did not Eve have the freedom to rebuke the serpent’s temptation and trust in God’s words? Doesn’t the Scripture say to us, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7)? Yet it is the devil who is often blamed when people fall in temptation. Remember, Satan won’t pull our collar to commit sin. He only entices us. We are solely responsible for making a choice to yield to the luring temptations.

Finally, do you know the saddest thing in this incident? Neither Adam nor Eve took personal responsibility to confess their sin. They didn’t show any sign of repentance. They were busy blaming the other person. They felt shame within but didn’t admit their sin. Don’t we often feel that shame within when we commit sins or mistakes but refuse admitting them? When we do something wrong our ego or pride immediately rises to justify our folly. We do all that we can by blaming people, devil and even God but deny taking responsibility for our sins. It is good for us if we stop playing blame game and heed to this Scripture, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Pro. 28:13).

(To be continued.....)

(Previous reading - Part 6)

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