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Selfishness Wears A Mask Called "Blame"

"'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?" Ezekiel 18:2

When this was quoted Judah had been attacked by the Babylonians and taken into exile. God had been warning Judah for decades that if they didn't straighten up He would use the Babylonians to  straighten them up for them. He'd been warning them of this even before the Babylonians were a power or threat to anyone. They didn't take Him seriously or the Babylonians so God was forced to keep His word. What did most of the people do? They blamed everyone before them. It was there fathers sins that brought this judgment not themselves. Their fathers sinned and now they...the innocent were paying for it. They blame shifted.

They were all aware of the warnings God was giving them but they did nothing about it. The children followed in their fathers footsteps of everything wrong instead of paying attention, turning it around and doing what was right to avert God's judgment. When the time came after so many opportunities of going the right way and so many warnings...they simply blame shifted. By doing this they were ultimately accusing God of getting it wrong. He was unjust holding them responsible for things they didn't do. Did it end their captivity? No. They sat around in Babylon having a pity party over their innocence. Those before them may not have listened, but neither did they. They knew right from wrong and chose as their fathers chose...the wrong path. So they carried just as much responsibility as those before them. The key here....they knew right from wrong. When we know right from wrong no amount of blame shifting really holds any weight.

Have you ever known someone who takes little to no responsibility for their behavior? No matter what happens or what they do it's always the fault of someone else? I'm sure you do. In fact you only need to look in the mirror because we all do it. Blame shifting is part of our own depravity. We're not only taught this through all forms of media and psychologists, but it's self preservation. It could be excessive pride or fear of consequences. If someone is a murderer then they were traumatized as a kid by someone else. If someone is a thief it's societies fault. If someone is a molester it's because they were molested etc. People have millions of excuses for bad behavior. Instead of adjusting behavior to the standards of right and wrong, even though we know it's wrong, we continue to do it and blame others for it. It's a lot of work to change. It doesn't always feel good to change. We don't get what we want right away if we change. There are no immediate rewards by changing.

I'm not saying individual backgrounds don't effect people. It does. I'm not saying personal struggles or past abuse isn't a factor in how people behave. It is. But when we know right from wrong and continue in bad behavior then there are no excuses left no matter what our background is. People who abuse often claim they were abused therefore they acted out of wrongs done to them. That argument doesn't work. They knew they'd been wronged. If they knew they were wronged by others then they're fully aware of right and wrong therefore are now fully responsible for their actions.

The knowledge of right and wrong is used in courts every single day that so many try to get around by blaming their parents, friends, bullies, insanity, mental disorders, society, etc. In these post modern times, right and wrong is no longer absolute. You'll hear something like "Everything is not so black and white" or "to you that's wrong, but to me it's not" or "I don't believe as you do" or "I don't have the same opinion" or "who am I hurting?"

How did we go from right and wrong being absolute to this? One word..."selfishness". Instead of reigning in bad or destructive behavior people have just let it all hang out, made excuses for it and then forced others to accept it for no other reason than because of selfishness. "Doing this makes me feel good so why should I change or stop it when I like it?" or "Living this way is conducive to my personality so deal with it" Just because we don't want right and wrong to be absolute, because it cramps our style (ie sinful nature), doesn't mean it stopped being absolute. Did the world stop being round because everyone believed it was flat? Did the planets stop revolving around the sun just because everyone believed the sun revolved around earth?

Ever notice when someone points out bad behavior we get all defensive and irritated? I'm guilty of it too. I'm not excluding myself here. Our usual first reaction is to think or say "who are you to tell me what to do? Weren't you doing A, B and C last week? Stop being a hypocrite!" Then instead of adjusting our behavior and conforming it to right and wrong we rationalize in our minds so and so is a hypocrite and doesn't know what they're talking about and continue on in our bad behavior. That's just our own selfishness rearing it ugly head.

Humans can justify anything. We have excuses for everything we do especially if it's wrong. When we're being rewarded then no one gets the credit, but us. If it's wrong then we have 1,000 people lined up to get the credit for that. It's simply because we're selfish creatures. Selfishness is behind almost everything we do. Take a look at often have you done something "good" so you could brag about it to others? So others would think you were awesome? Because you would get something out of it? Examine yourself. Look at your motives just for a minute on everything. I've done this too and didn't fair well.

Selfishness ruins lives. Selfishness ruins marriages and other relationships. Selfishness is a monster we all carry around. Selfishness in extreme is why we have millions crowding prisons and jamming up court systems. We always recognize it in others right away, but how often do we see it in ourselves without blaming someone else? When we become aware of what's "wrong" or "bad" the only one who bears the responsibility to change it is us.

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." Galatians 6:7
If you sow tomato seeds the chances of  reaping pumpkins is zero.  If we sow "bad" then it's absolutely insane to expect a harvest of "good". We reap exactly what we've sown. The consequences always catch up and consequence never makes a mistake. No amount of blame shifting will save anyone when the chickens come home to roost. If we spent as much time and energy on doing what was right as we do on blame shifting in selfishness to avoid consequences this world would be a much better place.


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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