I've always laughed particularly hard at the ridiculousness of this part of the film Happy Gilmore.
(Caution: There *is* a curse word in this clip.)
But, as I live in this world and observe what's going on around me, I realize "He shouldn't have been standing there" isn't so ridiculous a statement after all. It's what we do, isn't it?
A few years ago, our sweet Sarah had a lapse in judgment on the playground. She crossed in front of the swings without noticing how close she was. The result was a 2x6 to the forehead. Literally. Within seconds she had a goose-egg the size of a second head. The tears were flowing. It had to have hurt. But in the midst of being possibly-concussed, the poor girl was lucid enough to say, "Abby needed to watch out!" You see, to her, the fault was not of her own actions (walking directly in front of a swinger) but of the swinger (her sister) who had little to no control over the speed or direction of her swing.
A couple of weeks ago, I walked down the hallway where I could overhear my son's Skype call that was being peppered with a few "choice" words. I walked in the room and said, "Do they talk like this a lot?" To which the offender said, "Ben! She wouldn't have heard if you'd been in a room where she didn't walk by!" Because, you know, those words are well and good if only shared among friends. Or something.
Shortly after the creation of humankind, a man and woman roamed about their beautiful garden, marveling at the gift they'd been given. They literally had the world at their fingertips and yet...it wasn't enough. Having been warned of the consequences of partaking of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Eve chose to trust the serpent's seed of doubt ("Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?" Genesis 3:1 - emphasis mine) over the clear direction from God ("You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:17). She ate the fruit and gave some to Adam. When God questioned Adam about it, he replied, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then it was Eve's turn, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
But...God said, "Because you have done this..." And then he doled out some consequences, as was perfectly within his right.
You see, whether we were influenced by someone or not, our actions are still just that. Our own. Good or bad, our choices and actions have consequences, good or bad. Instead of passing the blame, how about let's just own up?
"Yes. It was me. Totally my fault. My bad. I'm sorry."
Why is that so hard?
Human nature. From the very start we've been blame-placing. I guess that's not an easy cycle to break.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Those words, "I accept responsibility. I'm sorry." pack a more powerful punch than you can imagine. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the right thing.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9My prayer today is that we take ownership of our actions - good and bad, consequences and all.
Let it start with me.