Did you know that the first Friday the 13th of each year is also “Blame Someone Else Day?” Of course, no one wishes to take credit for creating “Blame Someone Else Day.” If you ask anyone about it, they will blame someone else. Traditionally the blame for this random day is placed on Anne Moeller. The story goes that in 1982, the Clio, MI woman’s alarm clock did not wake her up, so she was late to all of her meetings for the entire day. In order to deflect the responsibility for her day of tardiness, Moeller needed a scapegoat. So, she invented “Blame Someone Else Day” to give herself the chance to avoid taking the blame for being late. But then, maybe she would deny that story and blame someone else.
Ever since Adam blamed God for the fall into sin with the line: “The woman YOU put here with me gave me some fruit from the tree…,” people have been passing the buck, finding scapegoats, playing the blame game and throwing others under the bus.
This also comes across in our modern victim mentality. Few are any longer responsible for their actions. No matter how obvious the wickedness of a perpetrator, he or she is always a victim. Everything is someone else’s fault.
James powerfully makes the point: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ because God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is dragged away and enticed by his own desire…” (James 1:13-14 EHV).
In the rite of confession for centuries, the penitent would say, “Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.” (“My fault. My own greatest fault.”). Something like “my bad,” only far more serious. When you think of it, what we do each Sunday is such a liberating thing, confessing our sins, owning our failures. For Christ died for real sins and for real sinners, not for our blame games and buck passing and finger pointing at everyone and everything around us.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His Word is not in us” (1 John 19-10 EHV).