“Blame Storming”

Most of us are familiar with the term “brainstorming.” It’s when a group of people get together and toss out a bunch of ideas for a project or mission. In the 1990s I first heard the expression “blame storming.” That’s when a group of people get together and find ways to blame someone not at the meeting for a recent problem or mistake. Blame storming is not limited to groups, however.

We are all quite capable of whipping up a blame storm when we need one. When is that? Anytime that we don’t want to take responsibility for our actions. Instead, we attempt to pin the blame on someone else. Did you know that the first blame storm took place in the garden of Eden?

God had given Adam and Eve Paradise. It came with just one rule:

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV)

In Chapter 3, Satan, disguised as a serpent, deceives Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She then gives it to Adam. God confronts the couple and the first blame storm in humanity is born:

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 (NIV)

In case you missed it, Adam does a double finger point here. He blames both God and Eve for his actions: “The woman you put here with me.” There are three people in this conversation and Adam blames two out of the three for his actions! Because we’re born with Adam’s spiritual DNA, blamestorming comes naturally to us:

  • The child who hits another child will instantly blame the victim for provoking him.
  • Adults, sadly can also blame victims for violence done to them: “Well if he/she just wouldn’t have…
  • Someone who steals Wi-Fi or cable service and blames the person who taught them how to do it.
  • Blaming other drivers for your impatience: “he cut me off, what do you think I’m going to do?”
  • An unfaithful spouse: “Hey, he or she came onto me. What do you expect? I’m only human!”

The list is literally endless. The new year is a great time to do a blame storming self-assessment. As you look at failures and disappointments from last year, how many times did you fail to take responsibility for your own role? How many times did you make other people scapegoats?  When you are tempted to point fingers in this new year, remember that you don’t have to:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

When we confess our sins to God and trust that we are forgiven, we won’t feel the need to blame others. Yes, we may have to face consequences for our actions, and the person or persons we wronged may not forgive us. But we can rest in the knowledge that Jesus has. As the Apostle John wrote. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  The next time you’re ready to whip up a blamestorm against someone else, I pray you will remember that if you confess responsibility instead, you’ve already received the forgiveness that matters most.

Pastor Jerry Bader

  • Steve Launer
    Posted at 17:48h, 08 January Reply

    When you point a finger at someone else, there are 3 more pointing back at you.

    • Jerry Bader
      Posted at 22:32h, 12 January Reply


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