Troy is always saying things that surprise me. His creativity always makes me smile even when it shouldn’t. For example, a few months ago I told Troy to stop doing something (I don’t even remember now what it was) he said, “But Goofy did it!'” At the time Troy was holding his stuffed Goofy animal, and Troy was using Goofy to perform the action that I asked him to stop doing. Troy thought he had the best of both worlds: getting to do what I told him not to do and passing the blame to someone else.
I think that we can easily fall into this way of thinking as well: doing things that go against God’s will and then passing the blame to someone or something else. What about the woman who dresses inadequately and inappropriately, but blames the man for looking? Or the parents who fail to teach their children about God at home, but blame the Bible class program? What about the Christian who fails to give to God, but blames the economy? Or the countless other ways that we try to push our faults to someone or something else? Brushing the burden of sin off to someone or something else may ease our conscience, but it will not cleanse sin off our record to God. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), even if we try to push the responsibility of our actions off of ourselves. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” We must be careful not to fall into the dangerous trap that removes personal responsibility for the sin in our lives.
And, considering my role and responsibility as a parent, I must teach my children that they must take ownership of their actions rather than passing the blame off to something else. Sometimes I think our instincts as parents may encourage us to make excuses for our children, thinking that we are protecting them in some way. However, I think that when we consistently make excuses for our children we do them a great disservice because we don’t teach them the importance of personal responsibility and accountability. Though no parent wants their child to do wrong, we must realize that our children will be better off in the long run if they are held accountable for their actions, ultimately so that they will understand the severity of sin and the importance of obedience to God.