The alternative to blaming others for our own failures is an honest, up-front confession, which is neither complicated nor difficult . . . unless, of course, we allow pride to get in the way. When that happens, we resist confessing with everything in us. Having formed the habit of blaming others regarding our own sinfulness, we naturally turn to it when others do wrong.
Blaming others is the longest-standing and the most common reaction to our own wrongdoing. It's our favorite game to play - in fact, it's a habit that humans have cultivated since life began. As we will see today, it was the reaction of the first man and woman when they were faced with their own failure in the Garden of Eden. Immediately, both played the blame game!
Nothing can throw us into a pit of discouragement any deeper than shame. For many people, prolonged battles against humiliation can lead to protracted seasons of defeat. In fact, this emotional barrier of shame can become the sole obstacle to recovery. We'll discover today that shame serves little purpose unless we relinquish our failures to the only One who can heal.
In our shame-prone culture, parents, bosses, teachers, and many pastors consciously or subconsciously urge people to connect their significance to what they produce. This prompts blame and favoritism, resulting in fear of risk and a total lack of innovation. How much better to respect and honor others - even when they fail to measure up to expectations or blow it big time!
Shame. It's message is dreadfully debilitating and packed with pain. The corrosive effect it has on how we love, parent, work, and lead (to name only a few) is enormous. As one authority on the subject has written, "Shame keeps us small, resentful, and afraid, which is the way many choose to live their lives." Shame is, primarily, the fear of disconnection.
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