In general we are not good at accepting blame, are we? No one really wants to look like a bad person to others, and sometimes it is just difficult for people to admit to themselves that they could do something bad or wrong. Through the years, I have become convinced that people — sometimes even me — can justify just about anything they want to do. Far too often we fail to see the whole picture or fail to think things through to their logical conclusion before acting.

Most of the time folks try to place the blame for any difficulty on someone else, or at least distance themselves from it as much as possible. Doug Larson wrote this about placing blame, "The reason people blame things on the previous generations is that there is only one other choice!"

Think about that a minute ...

Now on the other side of things, there is the optimist's view that we all make mistakes. Some folks like to remind you, by way of encouragement, that "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." One pessimist fellow had an answer for that when he said, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life, but so was yesterday and look how you messed that up!"

So having said all of that, perhaps the question is, "How do we go on with our daily living knowing we are bound to mess up sometime?"

First, we simply can deny that we mess up. I had a discussion with a young preacher one time that told me, "I have been saved and I never sin." I asked him to explain to me the old apostle John's words:

"If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him [God], he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts" (1 John 1:8-10 NLT).

He read the verses — perhaps for the first time — and responded, "I don't know what it means, but it doesn't mean what it says!" Hmmm, admission of sin and confession to God, sounds like it might work!

Firmly on our own shoulders!
The second choice we have is to realize that we do mess up, sometimes terribly, and then accept the blame for what we have done. Paul reminded the church members at Rome that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Hey, maybe we are not so unusual in denying blame, if God took the time to remind us of the problem, as well as giving us the answer to it in His Word.

God's word does offer the solution to getting the blame — the guilt of our sin — taken away. Spend some time reading what Paul says in Romans chapter 6 and see if God speaks to you about how to be free from the burden of blame and of sin. Notice especially those first few verses (Romans 6:1-14).

Ultimately, where do we place the blame? Firmly on our own shoulders!

But the Good News is that God can take it off our shoulders in Christ, and longs to give us forgiveness and comfort!