Week 1: Thursday
- Genesis 3:1–24
- Nehemiah 1:4–11
- Romans 8:31–39
Questions to Consider
- Who are you blaming for a certain situation or circumstance? What was your role?
- Why do we blame others for our circumstances rather than accept responsibility?
- What are some ways we own responsibility for our actions when we come to repentance?
- How does Jesus help us overcome blaming others for our hardship?
Plan of Action
- Ask for forgiveness for your part in a conflict. Be the bigger person. You might be able to win the argument. But winning the argument is not worth losing the relationship.
- If having been victimized in your past is holding back your future, seek Pastoral or Christian counseling. Seek healing for your wounds. Don’t let the past actions of others rob you of your present and your future.
- Part of accepting responsibility is to make restitution. This is hard. It is one thing to be sorry for your actions. It is another thing to compensate others for ways you have wronged them. Consider one way you need to make restitution with another person today and then go do it.
It’s not my fault. The devil made me do it. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. It goes all the way back to the fall into sin. We blame others for our actions. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve. (see Genesis 3:11–13) We are good at playing the victim. We are innocent. Like Pontius Pilate we try to wash our hands clean in spite of the blood that is on them.
Healing relationships starts with repentance. It starts with me owning my part of the dysfunction. Rarely is one party the sole party to be blamed. Both parties have part in the conflict. It is easy to see the other person’s fault. What is more difficult is to see my own fault.
This is not to say there are not innocent victims caught in abuse. There is evil in this world. Many times the darkness strikes the innocent. Many of you reading this have been victimized in the past. It has left a wound that will not heal.
You cannot control what others do to you. What you can control with the help of the Holy Spirit is how you respond. With the help of the Holy Spirit you can respond in love. With the help of the Holy Spirit you can move forward. With the help of the Holy Spirit you can find the healing which is missing.
Letting the past actions of others control your present and your future is allowing them to victimize you all over again. When we find our identity in Christ we cannot go back to being the victim.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (ESV)
Through Christ Jesus we are more than conquerors in all things. This verse does not say we are conquerors in some things. It says we are conquerors in all things. Neither does it say we are just conquerors. It says we are ‘more than conquerors.’
As Jesus hung upon the cross it would have been easy for him to blame others. It would have been easy for him to accuse those who put him there. He truly was the victim, the innocent lamb led to the slaughter (see Isaiah 53:7). His victimization could have kept him from walking in the destiny the Father had prepared for him. But his response was:
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 (ESV)
He chose to take the accusations against us upon himself. He took the blame, even though he was innocent. By his wounds we are now healed.
Know that hurting people hurt others. Hurting people often hurt themselves. But as you find healing in Jesus Christ something amazing happens. The scars left behind become a reminder that I am not a victim but “more than a conqueror” and the wounds of the past become agents of healing.