Who’s Responsible?

We love to take credit for the good things that happen to us but hate to take responsibility when things go south. The euphoria we feel when someone praises us for doing something right is so fulfilling, isn’t it? But those nasty feelings of dread and guilt we get from messing up are just awful. Most of us don’t enjoy making mistakes or the suffering the consequences we receive when we make them, so to avoid the pain of the consequences, we blame someone else for our mistakes. Have you ever met someone like that? Maybe that someone is you. Truthfully, it has been me before. But let me tell you from experience that it’s never good, and I mean never, when I heave all that blame in someone else’s direction when clearly, I made the error. Have you ever heard someone say, The devil made me do it? Of course he didn’t. He may have been there whispering in my ear and tempting me, but I am the true culprit. The devil may have put it out there via a friend or relative, but I made the final decision because the sin in me wanted or needed to do it. I mean, nobody held a gun to my head and said, Do it or else… After I committed the sin, I sure wish someone had said that to me. Don’t put your relationships at risk by blaming others for your short-comings. Let’s find out why we do it, have done it, or will do it; then there’s a better chance of us not doing it.

 

Why do we blame other people?

  1. It’s easy. We let ourselves off the hook. It’s a lot of work to take the blame.
  2. We don’t have to suffer the embarrassment or the consequences.
  3. We want to protect our ego. We’ve done a lot of work building this reputation of ours as being the calm, laid-back one. We don’t want to come unglued and have to show the anger that’s pent up inside us because of some past trauma, so we blame the other person to avoid vulnerability.
  4. Blaming fills our need to control. If we blame someone else, we don’t have to examine ourselves. We feel in complete control.
  5. It’s the sin of pride in us not wanting to take responsibility for the terrible outcome of bad decisions.

 

Why should you change your ways and accept full responsibility when you’re in the wrong?

  1. Ironically, you’ll feel better about yourself. It’s true. You’ll feel euphoric because you were actually honest with people. And with yourself!
  2. Your relationships will start to improve because someone can actually trust you.
  3. You will begin to lose your selfish tendencies and become more willing to be accountable. Even though we don’t always enjoy it, we all need accountability, don’t we?
  4. Since blame is just a defense mechanism, we need to see that it’s not really the A+ defense mechanism we thought it was, is it? On the contrary, it leaves us powerless to become a better person in terms of personal growth.
  5. You want to have a positive affect on others, don’t you? Accepting the blame when you’ve made a mistake is often contagious.

 

I know it’s not easy for us to admit our wrongs. It’s not easy for me, but really, it’s in my own best interest to tell the truth about what I did. It seems like an oxymoron, but my self-esteem will go through the roof if I take responsibility for my wrong. I’ll feel more at peace. I’ll actually feel happier, stronger, and more confident. And even better, others will have more respect for me, have more faith in me. And who wouldn’t want to feel responsible for that?

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Suzanne Sommerville

Life Blogger

Christ-follower, daughter, mom, Mimi to 6 grandchildren, teacher, writer, and musician

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