Who's to Blame?

Who’s to Blame?

Who's to Blame?
Photo by Gabe Austin

Who's to Blame?

A lot of people don't want to own up to their mistakes. They want to put the blame on other people because, that way, they didn't do anything wrong.

But there is a contradiction when it comes to control over one's life while blaming other people. Many people want to control their own lives. They can't stand the thought of a higher power having control over their lives. But yet, when it comes to a mistake they made, something that went wrong in their lives, they're so quick to place the blame on someone else. It couldn't possibly be their fault. By placing the blame on someone else though, they've just given the other person control.

But didn't they just say, "nobody has control over me"? More specifically, "God doesn't have control over me". Isn't that what they were saying? How is it then that another human can have the control but God can't?

There are times when something really is someone else's fault, but that is for a whole other article. What I'm talking about here is the act of placing blame on someone else when it was our mistake.

The issue with this is that we fail to take responsibility for our own actions and the associated consequences.

I always blamed Harold for ruining my life. It was just easier to blame him than accept that I played a part in it, too. No one wants to admit their mistakes or take the blame. We learn early on in childhood that if we are caught or found at fault, we are punished. So, we tell lies in order to avoid the consequences. "It wasn't me." "I didn't do it."

That carries into adulthood, morphing into blaming our current situations on someone else. But so does our desire for autonomy and independence. We are walking contradictions. We claim that no one has control over us, not even God, but then we blame other people for getting us into the mess we're in.

Unfortunately, as much as we blame someone else, it doesn't change the fact that our own actions contributed to getting us into the mess. And it's our own fault if we continue to stay there. I think when we don't take responsibility for our own actions and consequences, we're less likely to believe that we can actually change our situation. Some of us start to feel broken down, unable to break free from everything happening in our lives. And for others, it's an empowering experience, but only it's more like: "no one is ever going to have power over me like that again."

But we're still missing the important step. Not only do we need to start taking responsibility and owning up to our mistakes, or actions, but we also need to recognize that someone really does have control over our lives. It just isn't another human. It's God.

A lot of people struggle with that concept. I did. I was the walking contradiction. In control of my life, but yet blaming other people. It wasn't until I realized that I needed to own up to my own actions and let God take back the control that things started falling into place.

It's not easy, but handing over the reins removes the heavy burden of needing everything figured out. We don't need to have everything figured out. We just need to let God lead us. We just need to listen to the things He's calling us to do. That's how Harold and I avoided purchasing a money pit in mid-2012. That's how we ended up purchasing the home in Colorado that allowed us to pay off the rest of our student loans when we sold it. That's how we ended up in Alaska, experiencing life right on the river. And that's how we're in a position now for Harold to work toward getting back into the airlines after seven years away.

When we are working toward the things we are being called to do, things start falling into place. It's just up to us to remain faithful to that calling. Whatever it is, we need to make time for it. It needs to become a priority in our lives. When we hold off on working toward it, if we make an excuse for why we can't do it, in other words if we blame our situation on someone else (i.e., spouse, kids, etc.), I think that's when we feel incomplete and unfulfilled. But once we start taking responsibility for our lives, letting God lead, and taking action, that is where our lives change.

Jody Calkins
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