The “Blame-Everyone-Else” Problem

The “Blame-Everyone-Else” Problem

Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments! Revelation 16:7

When I was a child, I was acutely sensitive to being teased. When another kid poked fun at me, I felt I was being bullied and I wanted them to be punished for it. When I, in turn, teased others, I felt I was just being funny and didn’t deserve the same punishment. I wanted God to inflict his righteous judgment on others, but I much preferred mercy and grace for myself.

Unfortunately, this immature, self-centered view of the world didn’t naturally go away as I got older. When my life fell apart due to my addiction, my first impulse was to lash out at those I blamed for getting caught. They were self-righteous meddlers who needed to pay for sticking their nose in my life. Fortunately, I was quickly able to realize that my life disaster was no one’s fault but my own. Nobody had done this to me. I did it. I was the problem and I deserved to face judgment.

This is one of those milestones of growth that must happen in recovery. When I first see guys in jail or treatment, they’ll often be in that blame-everyone-else phase. Just as often though, I’ll meet those who eventually take responsibility. It always surprises me, but I’ll often hear those in jail who thank God for their incarceration. They know they deserve it, and they know that they wouldn’t have stopped using drugs on their own. They see their incarceration as a gift from God – time to think about the things they must change in their lives. Those who are still bitter, blaming everyone around them, aren’t ready to recover. Only those who accept their fault can begin to find transformation.

As long as I’m in that blame-everyone-else phase, I’ll never be able to grow, change, or recover. As long as my life problems are other’s fault, I can’t do anything about it. If my life disaster is in the hands of everyone around me, then I’m helpless, hopeless, and things will never get better because I can’t change anyone else. I can only change me. It’s only when I realize that I am my greatest life problem, and that I deserve God’s judgment, that I can begin to address my greatest life problem – me.

We can’t recover for anyone else. We can’t have faith for anyone else. And we can’t find joy and peace for anyone else. We’re all responsible for those things for ourselves. It’s only in accepting this truth, that we can begin to embrace the life of joy, peace, freedom, and purpose for which we were created.

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