The seven year old child in front of me squirmed uncomfortably. They were "busted" as they would say and they were fully aware that they would not like the consequences one single bit. Almost instantly, an idea popped into their head.
"Yes I did it, Teacher BUT it's not my fault! He (or she) told me to do it!"
I am just curious as to how any parent reading this would reacted to that statement? Would you pat the child on the head, tell them it was okay, that they were not responsible for hitting another child, tearing up another child's work, destroying property, stopping up the sink and flooding the bathroom and well... you get the idea simply because someone else had told them to do it?
I know what I would do for this was a scenario which I faced time and time again during my 20 plus years as an elementary school teacher. It never failed. When a child was caught in the act, they immediately searched for someone else to blame. Now granted, there were times when it was true that "Bernard" told "Felix" to hit "Abigail" but I am sure you will agree that both Bernard and Felix need to face the consequences of their actions. Bernard was wrong in telling Felix to hig Abigail and it was wrong for Felix to listen to Bernard and do it.
Hmm... does this story sound a bit familiar? God confronts Adam about eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He promptly blames Eve and she promptly blames the serpent. From then on, the human race has been crying out "But it's not my fault!" almost as soon as we can say the words.
Have you ever noticed how quickly a child learns to try to hide when they have done something wrong or blame it on their brother, their sister or even their dog? My son was an only child so the dog got blamed for a lot of things when he was young. My favorite story was the one he told me about the dog throwing a piece of frosted cake at the ceiling where it hung until I spied it in the hallway. What can I say. We had a rather talented dog.
It is very easy for us to play "The Blame Game" and it is a favorite game of ours. As long as we play it, we can absolve ourselves of any wrong-doing. It is not our fault that we engage in sinful activity. It is not our fault that we disobey God. It is not our fault that we do not grow as Christians. It is not our fault that we lose our temper, engage in gossip or are a poor employee (or employer).
It is NOT our fault... or is it?
Photo Credit: Nathan Siemers/flickr.com
Well as we both know there are times when it is NOT my fault. I mean, come on, lets be serious here for a moment, sometimes I am around when things happen but its not my fault that Im there... is it?
I think though that we will always play the blame game. As christians we too often blame Satan for things, when lets be honest he can only be in one place at any given time... therefore who is to blame? Surely not us!