If you were one of the crowd accusing the woman
of adultery, would you
have been able to cast the first stone, or would
you have walked away
after Jesus spoke? Most of us would have walked
away. Sure is was trap
to see how Jesus would handle the Jewish law, but
as usual the Master
was able to turn the blamers inward to
introspect. He was brilliant.
The focus was switched to forgiveness. The
opposite of Christ's
strategy is used today. Blame and resentment
punishes others and holds
them accountable. Here is what we do and why we
We blame in order to place the focus on people we
think should be held
accountable. It is important to search for
accountability. It is more
important to teach accountability as a basic
responsibility. We don't
do that as often as we used to. We teach rights
Is there anything wrong with using blame to
assign accountability? Of
course not. Accountability is a good thing. It is
everywhere you work
or play. We have referees in sports and we have
inventory, book keeping
in business. We have job performance and work
reviews. If you want a
business to run properly we must make people
accountable. It is a sad
sort of affairs when a person goes to his first
job and has never had to
practice accountability. That may sound odd, but
for a lot of people
showing up at work is their first taste of
Parents are supposed to be the great teachers of
though the job is abandoned by people who for
what ever neurotic excuse
can't seem to hold anyone else, much less their
Yet it is our duty to teach the next generation
accountability if it is
to function and endure for another generation.
It ain't me babe.
You know the lyrics to the song. It ain't me
you're looking for. The
implication is that I can't be relied upon or
held accountable. We
romanticize the free spirit in this society. It
is that old cowboy
mentality. I heard on the news the other day that
a burglar brought his
son to "work" with him, because he
could find day care for the little
child. The father was arrested for breaking and
entering. Hopefully he
was trying to teach his child that stealing was
wrong. Getting caught
was how he was going to teach accountability to
his son. You doubt it
Blame is the way to get the heat off yourself.
More likely he will blame the police or the
burglar alarm system or some
other person for getting caught. This foolish,
felonious father will
miss the opportunity to teach a lesson he needs
to learn. He will use
blame to get the heat off himself.
For many the basis of blame is the desire to be
free and the free of
being held accountable. Most often we see the
legal tactic of blaming
the accuser instead of defending oneself on the
basis of truth and
evidence. It worked in the OJ Simpson case and it
works with our
politicians. It is an immature way of living. I
can remember a few
times that my sister blamed me for something. She
was afraid of the
"wooden spoon." I was the kind of kid
who eventually got used to it and
We all would like to be innocent or undo the
things we did wrong.
The adolescent adult thinks that the appropriate
way of maintaining
innocence is to either blame others or to have a
some else doesn't make you innocent no matter how
well you place it.
The truth is still truth.
I want to look good in your eyes. Blame and
resentment allow me to look
good, maintain my self-esteem. The problem with
that belief is that
one's self-esteem is not based on what others
think but of what I myself
think of myself. If I am at fault, my value
doesn't go down. I am not
good when I am right nor bad when I am wrong. I
am good in an absolute
sense even before the event that I have been
blamed for. My behavior
can be judged, but not my being.
This may sound a little esoteric, but bear with
me. There is more too
We blame others in order to keep people split
into good and bad groups.
This helps us divide and conquer.
When we resent others we are really stacking up
old pain. This may
serve to intensify the old pain, but it also
helps us sort things out.
If we can remember where we have been wronged we
believe we avoid it in
the future. That's useful, but not a great way to
live. It is living
Maybe being offensive sounds better to you? Well
some people actually
go on the offensive with blame and resentment and
try to do unto others
what has been done to them. It feels like
justice. It is actually
revenge. People with this character flaw want to
see punishment meted
out. They like vengeance. This character flaw
will always make you
feel like you have the right to punish someone
else. You may have that
right. You might be justified. Key word might.
Just remember this
character flaw is linked to Martyr Syndrome,
which will never let you
believe that you have punished the other person
Marriages made in Hell
Marriages are made in Heaven right? After all the
couples I've seen,
I'm not too sure. I know that most of the time
they are not made down
here on earth. When blame and its cargo,
resentment, infect a marriage
it becomes fertile grounds for constant conflict.
It is a marriage made
Marriages fall apart when resentment reigns. In
couples therapy one of
the first things needed is to focus couples away
from their individual
rights. Good marriages are not made of
individuals. Good marriages are
made of two becoming spiritually united as one. I
know it sounds old
fashioned, But it takes sacrifice, commitment and
responsible action to
make a marriage strong. The focus on individual
discontent, blame and resentments. Focusing on
and roles helps to clarify misunderstandings that
lead to blame.
I am not naive enough to think that relationships
are easy if you follow
a few simple rules. They can be very difficult.
But when one of the
partners blames and harbors intense resentments
the relationship is
often doomed. Good, long lasting relationships
require that we reduce
our egos and release our character flaws.
When one partner resents, the other gets
demonized. Patients who are
unduly rebellious choose to act out even more,
because they hate being
blamed. "As long as I am being blamed for it
I might as well do it."
We treat resentment as relatively innocuous. We
believe that there is
no great cause for alarm. "If I resent that
person, I'll just avoid
him," is what we tell ourselves. The problem
is that it contaminates
our thinking in other areas. We don't function as
well as we could when
we walk around with resentments.
Most spouses who are married to someone using
resentment are well
equipped to play with the character flaw of
victimization. It is part
of their game. They chose the person to be with
in the relationship.
They might not have done it consciously. It may
have just been a
marriage made in Hell.
Here are a couple of simple rules to follow in
your relationship when
you discover that you have been using blame and
Rule #1 When there is a problem in your
relationship, change a
character Flaw in yourself.
Rule #2 If you discover the other person is to
blame, reread rule # 1.
Think about it.