Blame is funny.
We’re often tempted to blame someone or something else for our shortcomings and mistakes. We hope, that by successfully shifting blame, to avoid punishment and accountability.
Not only is the “blame game” deceptive–because no one or nothing is responsible for our lives except ourselves–but it cripples progress. Once we convince ourselves we’ve shifted the blame, we’ve also given up control to fix the problem. Those who rely on blame instead of responsibility create a prison where improvement is impossible.
We can attempt to blame other people at every turn, but we always face the truth that we can’t change others. We can try to blame external circumstances, but then we find out we can’t change those either.
Courageously accepting responsibility grants the possibility of freedom. Only those grounded in responsibility and accountability make great strides of improvement and growth.
It’s sad that many would rather wallow in negative situations than accept responsibility and thus be empowered to improve them. As Christians, we should not allow this attitude to thrive.
And we cannot allow it to exist when it comes to temptation and sin.
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” I almost think James anticipated a response to that statement something like this, “Well, it’d sure be a lot easier to endure temptation if that same Lord would stop tempting us to get us to give up!”
So James says in verses 13 and 14, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”
It is impossible to blame God for temptation and sin. Just as it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18; Titus 1:2), it is impossible for God to be tempted, and thus to tempt us. Not only is it futile to cast blame at God’s feet, how dare us do so in light of all he has done and all he promises!
God wants the best for us. We must develop a trusting attitude toward him and his word that dares not blame him for shortcomings, mistakes, and sin.
It is impossible to blame anyone or anything else. Instead of listing everyone or everything we cannot blame, James tells us the source of temptation: our own desires. You and I cannot successfully blame anyone or anything else for sin because it all starts in our own hearts. We are “tempted” to sin because it, in some way, appeals to us individually. Temptation, and thus sin, are controlled and guided by our own selfish desires.
Bummer? Maybe, if we’re lazy. But not if we truly want to change things.
Jesus’ power has defeated the strangling power of sin and death (1 Cor. 15:56-57). And he gives us the opportunity to obey him instead of our own desires. If we destroy, suppress, and manage our earthly desires, we can successfully navigate the labyrinth of temptation in this life. It will never be easy. But it will always be possible; provided we accept responsibility and cut out the blame.