It’s as old as Eden – Adam and Eve engaged in it! Excuses! Excuses! Excuses! for our own neglect and behavior. The “blame game” when we want to shift the responsibility we have for our own mistakes and irresponsibility. I read about it in my Bible reading this morning…
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ The man replied, ‘I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ And the Lord God said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.’ So the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman replied, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ (Genesis 3:8–13 NET)
Now I’m a happily married man and I have a wonderful, loving wife… but I admit it, I’ve been guilty a time or two (or more). And I’ve done my fair share of marriage counseling and I can tell you this issue is the cause of countless marriage difficulties. No one wants to take responsibility for their actions! The problem surfaces in all kinds of human relations – business, politics, education, simple friendships – and its always destructive! I don’t want to live that way!
I had a coach in high school with a pretty healthy philosophy of life that he applied to competitive sports but could be applied to most any area of life… Here it is…“No excuses!” 1 John 1:8-9 has the remedy… “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness!” And another one… “Confess (i.e. acknowledge) your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
Oh, and in marriage – the relationship as old as Eden – This recommendation from the Bible seems like a good one… “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do the Lord… And husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (from Ephesians 5:21-33). Excuses and “the blame game” don’t solve any problems… they just complicate things.
Gonna, try to live that way at the outset of this New Year!