What do people mean when they say that little sentence, “It’s Not My Fault!”? I’m sure like me it is a bit frustrating as you find out your order was lost and now you have to wait even longer and the only answer given is, ‘it’s not my fault.’ Those words greatly irritate teachers, bosses, and customers as the only answer to unfulfilled assignments, tasks and services.
What these words; ‘it’s not my fault,’ seem to mean is that it is no longer my responsibility for the issue at hand. Somehow it has become acceptable to pass the blame on to something or someone. It was out of our control the assignment did not get turned in on time, extenuating circumstances release any accountability for that unfulfilled job task, someone else’s actions now make us not liable for the service paid for…and the list of excuses goes on: “It’s not my job,” “No one told me what to do,” “I never got the email,” “I didn’t know,” “I’m too busy,” “I’m just doing what I’m told.”
Did you know that this skirting of responsibility and victim/blame mentality, that includes saying things like “it’s not my fault,” was mankind’s second sin?!? In Genesis 3, the serpent, satan (and yes I don’t capitalize his name, he does not deserve that kind of honor) was tempting Eve, and with Adam standing right there…
Genesis 3:6-7 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Well God shows up and gets right to the point…
Genesis 3:11 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
And Adam saw his sin, immediately took responsibility for his actions, and begged God for mercy…NO that’s not what happened, sin had already wormed its way into the human heart to accept no accountability for their actions, redirect the blame, and take no responsibility for what was done. Listen to Adam…
Genesis 3:12 2 The man (Adam) said, “The woman You put here with me– she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Adam not only blames Eve, but blames God for giving her to him!! That took nerve. But Adam was not alone in the blame-game, here comes Eve…
Genesis 3:13 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Eve blames the serpent. Neither accepted responsibility, both pointed the fault-finger away from them and somewhere else and entered into the victim-vortex where the swirl of “it’s not my fault” keeps us locked out of truly living God’s unique call on our lives.
Since humanity’s original sin (see Romans 5), we still struggle with falling into that same victim-vortex where we blame anyone and everyone for why we can’t…why we can’t follow through, why we can’t advance, why we can’t live God’s unique call on our lives. Yet, how is it that all through the Bible and since Biblical times people start holding themselves accountable for their actions and take on some key steps of responsibility.
One of my favorite Biblical stories that shows these steps of responsibility is in 1 Samuel 14, now there is much in this story and I would encourage you to read a few chapters before this and after to get more of what is going on, but know that God, through the prophet Samuel, had told Saul (the king of Israel) to fight and defeat the evil Philistines. Saul was stuck in the victim-vortex because he had messed up. So as verse 2 says, he was sitting under a pomegranate tree doing nothing! However, his son Jonathan took those strides of responsibility…first he saw what needed to be done…
1 Samuel 14:1 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.
Next Jonathan believed in God who can do anything and took it on himself to do something…
1 Samuel 14:6 6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
Jonathan then made a plan and took the risk to go for it…and wow, you will not believe what happened!! Go ahead read it…yep, completely amazing. God does that when we step out of the victim-vortex and into victory living.
Now I know there is a lot more we can talk about on this, but let the Holy Spirit help you continue your victorious living (seeing what needs to be done, owning it, believing in God, taking some risk and going for it) and avoid that easy slide into the victim-vortex. Because God wants to do incredible things in and through each of us; in our neighborhood, our church, our school, our city, our state, our nation, our world…victims are too worried about themselves to do anything and are too busy saying “it’s not my fault”, but the one who takes responsibility can…and I know you can!
Seeking to Live Responsible and Victorious with you,