We as humans sure have a way with deflecting blame don't we? Through the years I have grown to learn that accepting responsibility for my actions is not only right, but also can help me grow. I'm hardly perfect, and sometimes find myself trying to avoid a finger pointed my way. I don't like to be wrong, and the bigger the issue, the more strength it takes standing up for what is right and accepting responsibility. However there are still times I find myself giving excuses for why I didn't do something the right way or behaved a certain way. Thankfully (or sadly depending on how you look at it), I can find my character all over Scripture and realize I am not alone.
So here is Adam in the garden after taking a bite of that apple, and facing judgement for it:
The man said, “The woman ... she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”Immediately deflecting blame he states that it's not my fault, it's hers! Now before you point out something, yes, I omitted a part of that Text for a reason. Read the complete verse and see that he not only blames Eve, but Someone else too:
The man said, “The woman [whom you gave to be with me], she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12 ESV)So not only is it Eve's fault, it was also God's fault in Adam's eyes as it was God after all that created this person that deceived Adam! Who cares if their partnership was exactly what Adam was looking for (Genesis 2:23), someone has to be blamed for this!
What really struck me when I read this was how I have in the past blamed God for similar things in my life, in particular my personality. One may try to argue that personalities develop over time based on your surroundings. Well, fine, I think in some cases yes. However raising four children, and already seeing so many different personalities, I feel some of it is how we have been knit together. And it is due to this that I think that I came to this conclusion:
Our God-given personalities aren't meant to give us an excuse for our behaviors; they are given to show the variety of ways we can bring Him glory.
I have a tendency to be anxious. I clearly disagree that God makes me anxious, but I'm not so convinced that He hasn't created me in a way that is sensitive to anxiety intentionally. It is through this perceived weakness that I have clung to Him deeper, witnessed to others who experience the same struggles, and have deepened my faith because of this; and thus grown in my freedom through Christ and my joy and understanding as well. He doesn't want me to be anxious, but He has shown me through my sensitivity to anxiety how to manage it better and share that with others.
I'm not going to blame God for my struggles and say I can't conquer them because "He made me that way". What He did is give me the strength to persevere and show others that amidst my perceived weaknesses I'm still strong in Him.
My prayer is that I continue to grow from making excuses for myself, to giving credit to Him ...