Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Blame Game

Every morning after I get to the office one of the first things I do is peruse the headlines so that I'm at least mildly informed of the happenings of our world and culture. Two stories struck a nerve with me today. First, I saw (but didn't read) a story about actor Charlie Sheen whose headline-grabbing alcohol/ drug abuse and philandering have at least temporarily scuttled his career and the hit CBS show he stars on. His show (which glorifies hedonism) has been put on hiatus due to his most recent addiction and legal issues. Naturally when Sheen finally gives a public response he blames the producers of the television show for the show not going on- which has put many people out of work. Of course as far as Sheen sees things, it is not his fault.

Next I read the story about poor ole Billy Ray Cyrus. He of early 90's one-hit-wonder fame who got a second "15 minutes of fame" by riding his daughter Miley's meteoric rise to kiddie-pop sensation. Billy Ray went from a "whatever happened to that guy" story to overnight millionaire all over again thanks to his daughter's hit Disney Channel show "Hanna Montana". She has parlayed that gig into mega-stardom and a multi-million dollar brand. All this fame has led to increased scrutiny on Miley Cyrus and her family. Fame and fortune ain't free! There have been continual stories (with photos) about Miley's partying and promiscuous ways. Not only that but it seems the pressure of celebrity has caused tension in the Cyrus home and Billy Ray is now divorcing from his wife and Miley's mother. Billy's take- It is Disney's fault!! He blames the television show for all his troubles.

Note that he doesn't blame his choices regarding that show... as in, I should have guarded my daughter's heart better and kept her from doing that show. He blames Disney. Now I get no joy from the break-up of a marriage or the destruction of a life like Sheen's. These people were created in the image of God and are meant to glorify and enjoy Him forever. It is tragic and it is the result of sin. Unfortunately they are not willing to admit that. This "blame game" problem is as old as human history. When the first man sinned and God confronted him, the man's response was, "The woman whom YOU gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." The first woman followed her husband's lead in playing the blame game, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." The woman blamed the snake. The man blamed the woman... and ultimately God, since God gave her to the man.

When was the last time you joyfully received rebuke or confrontation regarding sin? Let's be honest. We like to think of ourselves as victims so we don't have to face the reality that we participate in the ugliness of sin every day. You may have actually been a victim of an offense but don't make that wound the object of your obsession-- you'll begin ignoring other areas of your life where you have been equally offensive by sin. Guard against the blame game. Rather heed the words of the Apostle John in 1 John 1:8-9, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. Is we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." To the lover of sin this spiritual confrontation will only produce anger, bitterness, and retaliation. We naturally like thinking highly of ourselves. To the true believer who loves the Lord this spiritual confrontation will ultimately be to our joy as we experience the freedom of exposing and putting to death our sin. The blame game is just another of the enemy's tricks to keep those chains heavy and tight around your heart and mind.

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