March 19, 2012
It’s all my fault. Have you ever felt that way? How about, it is all YOUR fault. Maybe you are more accustomed to that. Some of us are more inclined to bear the burdens of the world on our own shoulders, and others to place blame elsewhere. When we see a system that is failing or situation that is displeasing, or even something we just have a different vision of we are often inclined to make that someone’s fault.
I think, however, in most situations assigning blame to any one person, ourselves or others, is a gross oversimplification of the problem. If we were able in the midst of our disappointment, loss, or anger to look at the whole, and all of the parts that make it up, we would be able to rationally understand that. The human heart and even brain don’t work that way most times though. We fail to be aware of the complex systems that are in play over any one matter and instead blame. It doesn’t really matter who we blame. It could be God, ourselves, others… any person will do. We don’t want to take the time to analyze and problem solve. Just blame. When we blame individuals for whatever it is that is bothering us, we are assigning way too much power to one person. I (or you for that matter) can’t possibly be solely responsible for everything that is not going our way.
As people of faith we need to take into consideration the possibility that God is working around us, and what may seem like a failure in the short term, could be just a step down the path to a future that God has planned for us and we do not yet understand. As people of faith we need to take seriously the imagery of all people making up together the body of Christ and our deep dependence on one another. If we are all interconnected, so are our problems. As people of faith we need to take responsibility for our own actions and expectations instead of spewing all of our venom towards others.
God calls us to mourn our losses and to lift up those who are hurting. God calls us to act in the world in a way that serves and gives and expresses love. Blame does none of those things. Whether it is blame of self or others, unless we are productively recognizing areas in which we can grow, change, and improve; blame is fruitless. Let’s be creative problems solvers instead of venomous blame-layers. The world needs us. When we see a problem, that is God laying it on our heart to improve. Let’s do the job right!