The Blame Game

Today my best friend is writing a guest post. He’s been around since high school, and I’m honored to have been married to him for almost 49 years. You may not realize how much Phil already contributes to Besides doing the whole technical side of the blog, I depend on his knowledge of Scripture, theology, and wisdom to read through my ramblings and guard me from jumping off some heretical cliff. Seriously, I owe so much to him and am grateful for his input. Philip John Schroeder, thank you and I know you will appreciate what he has to say today. 


The Blame Game

I’ve noticed in myself and others, the tendency to blame others for situations. We make statements such as: ”He makes me so mad.”, “If they hadn’t done _______, I wouldn’t have done ________.” 

An announcer for the KC Royals (back when they were awesome), mentioned a quote from his father; “the only thing you can control in life is your attitude.” Classic shifting of blame is found in various forms of apologies such as; “I’m sorry if you felt hurt by my actions.”

Observing the Blame Game in Action

I experienced one of the most flagrant statements of blame in our first months of marriage. I was working in construction. The site supervisor, came fuming out of the contractor’s shed, yelling at the excavating contractors with words not used in church.

He then began proclaiming in a voice loud enough to be heard around the whole construction site; “these **** people are making me lose my Christianity!!” I was shocked he had any Christianity. I was puzzled how he could blame others for his own attitudes, his own spiritual decline, if he had any spirituality to begin with.

My new bride, Sylvia, surprised me that evening with some puzzling information. She knew who the supervisor was, and his daughter had been one of her best friends in grade school. They were a good “church going” family! 

Where Did Blaming Others Begin?

Serpent in the garden of Eden tempting Eve.

by Denis Doukhan on Pixabay

Blame started in a garden setting, “The man said, ‘‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree,.…’’” . Then the woman had her turn, ’’The woman said, ‘‘The serpent deceived me,…’’” Genesis 3: 12,13, ESV.

Mary and Martha blamed Jesus; “…

[Martha speaking]; ‘‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32, ESV

[Mary speaking]; ’’Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’’” John 11:21, ESV.

The disciples “needed” to find someone to blame for the blindness that afflicted the man the encountered at the temple: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” John 9:2 ESV

How might our lives be changed if we took a “blame game” reality check and went on a “blame game “fast”?

Look it up in Scripture

Look up some other examples of the “blame game” in Scripture. Check out: 

* Genesis 3:1-13 ESV

* Judges 14:18 ESV

* Jonah 3:10-4:11 ESV

* John 11:17-35 ESV

How might our lives be changed if we took a “blame game” reality check and went on a “blame game “fast”? Share on X


*feature Image by Tumisu on Pixabay

15 Replies

  1. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Such a great object lesson here Mr. Phil. Our actions and reactions must land squarely on us sir. I’m guilty of being “flattened” a few times by the venomous words I’ve spewed when I haven’t controlled my anger. I hope the man later found the courage to first seek God’s forgiveness and then those who he offended with his tirade. In my life, I’ve hoped they practiced forgiveness better than I’ve applied self-control. “Guard my mouth, Lord, folks are watching and listening.” Thanks sir.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      J.D. nice to hear from you. It’s often easier to see how others need to change and change in our own lives isn’t as quick as we’d like. However, It is encouraging to us to see growth. When we see ourselves taking steps as you’ve pointed out, in forgiveness, responding to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, growing in self-control, that’s truly encouraging. Humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God.

  2. Barbara Latta Reply

    Blame is humanity’s plague. We are responsible for keeping our own attitudes in line with Scripture. Thanks for sharing Sylvia and Phil.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Barbara. Yes, keeping our own attitudes in line with Scripture, great point. Very encouraging when we see that happening in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

      • Don Pahl Reply

        Thanks, Phil.
        But you forgot one: “The woman you gifted to write, she made me write this column!” 😊

        • Philip Schroeder Reply

          You got me on that one, Don.

  3. Tony Vanderlaan Reply

    Thanks Phil

    We all seem to fall into this trap of blaming other’s rather than ourselves. Why is it that the words, “I was wrong.” Are so difficult to say? Could it be because we “Think more highly of ourselves” than we should. Thanks for the reminder to apply self control more in our lives.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Tony, It’s been a good long while not seeing you. Maybe later this year? I appreciate your comments here, yes, yes, yes. Those three little words. It’s interesting to see so many in this world twist and turn and spin to make an apology but they can’t get to those three words. May we be listening to the Lord’s reminded next time it’s our turn to say, “I was wrong.”

  4. Nancy E. Head Reply

    I’ve spent more than one season of life blaming others. Eventually, I came to realize my own part in those events. Grown ups own our own stuff. That’s a big part of maturity. Thanks, Philip, for this wisdom. God bless!

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Nancy, thanks for sharing your personal experience wrestling with this issue. It’s good to be reminded of “my own part…” Early in married life we were given some helpful advice, that even if I’m only 2% wrong, I need “own my own part” as if I were 100% wrong. Blessings

  5. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Phil and Sylvia, I really appreciated your message. This is an issue I have struggled with for years. I’m glad to say I’m imroving, but I’m still not where I need to be. Now, I don’t have episodes like your construction supervisor. Mine occur more in relationships and marriage can be a prime example. It’s so eay to blame our partner when conflict occurs, and much harder to look within ourselves to ask, “How am I contributing to this rough spot we’re going through?” It’s only with God’s help that we can overcome our self-centeredness to put the needs of others first. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking message.

    • Philip Schroeder Reply

      Thanks for sharing Katherine, and for the courage to share your own challenges in this area. I guess I like the part where you say, “I’m improving…” That in my understanding of the Christian life is key. It’s not having arrived at some pinnacle, but it’s so important to be on the growth track. That’s where I want to be. Blessings and thanks for sharing.

  6. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply

    Yep, guilty of blaming my actions on anyone else but me. When I allowed GOD to stop me and convicted ME of my choices of how I react, MY choice. … Then … I could move forward with my walk with the LORD!!! Thanks for sharing. Blessings on your days.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Marilyn. Repentance is crucial to move ahead. Appreciate your thoughts!