The insidious nature of blame

By Dave Henning / November 9, 2018

“The challenge is to stop blaming others and take responsibility for your own sins.  Blame is insidious, as it will keep showing up in your mind to convince you that nothing is your fault.”- Carey Nieuwhof

In Chapter 6 (“Ditching Your Phone Won’t Help”) of Didn’t See It Coming, Carey Nieuwhof explains why we need to solve the human problem.  First, Pastor Nieuwhof discusses critical differences he sees between four key concepts: excuses, reasons, explanations, and justifications.  The concepts either stagnate or transform your life.

1.  Excuses.  As Carey observes, excuses find their genesis in the reasons things didn’t go the way you hoped.  Hence, this raises a question that needs answering.  At what point do past circumstances stop defining your present and future?  Thus, sooner or later, your circumstances must stop functioning as excuses.

2.  Reasons.  Reasons function in a similar way to excuses, but in the present tense.  Yes, the author realizes, real reasons exist for your problems.  However, he suggests, most of the time, in our thought and prayer life, we focus on things out of our control.  Therefore, Pastor Nieuwhof believes, if, for one month, you prayed about things within your control, you’d stop making excuses.  No, this doesn’t mean you ignore your past.  Rather, don’t use those past events as excuses.  Instead, view those pivotal moments as . . .

3.  Explanations.  Since the language of explanation differs from the language of excuses, explanations can transform you.  Because they carry with them a tone of inquiry.  In the process, you use the past as a stepping-stone into the future rather than as a barricade against it.

4.  Justifications.  When you try to justify your actions, that effort leads to stagnation.  And, sooner or later, complete denial or self-pity follows.  Most noteworthy, Carey states, “Self-pity chisels into stone what discouragement whispers.”

Today’s question: Describe how the insidious nature of blame affects your life.  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “An unexamined and disconnected life”

About the author

Dave Henning

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