why the blame game is so tempting but doesn’t help us heal

It seems like we are blaming each other a lot more these days.  Well maybe not more per se, but definitely more publicly.  There’s not a day, or heck an hour, that goes by that I don’t see someone on my Facebook feed blaming another person (or group of people) for all the problems we’ve got.   I find it to be pretty anxiety producing for me to even get on my Facebook/Twitter account these days, and yet I can’t give it up.  I like to pretend it’s because that’s where ministry happens and I need to stay a part of the conversation in order to try to foster real Christian community through these social media mediums, but, that’s only part of the truth.  The other part of the truth is that even though I get a little bit of anxiety going onto Facebook to see who it is I am supposed to hate, shame or blame today, I also get a little bit of satisfaction from it too.

I’m not above admitting that sometimes it nice and easy to know who’s wrong and who’s right in the world.  It’s comforting to believe myself to be superior in my thinking and judgment to all those other people who are gullible, susceptible, or misled.  My ego likes to believe in my own infallibility and in my own ability to see so clearly why everyone who disagrees with me is just so stinking wrong about everything.

The only problem is that it’s also a lie and an illusion that really only ‘satisfies’ for a fleeting moment.  I can’t be right about everything just like ‘they’ can’t be wrong about everything. And if I’m not careful I’ll end up becoming everything I despise about the other.

The truth is blaming others for all the problems in life fails to recognize that we are bound to one another in this mysterious tapestry of life nor does it make my inner life more balanced or whole.   It usually just makes me feel resentful, bitter and cynical, which doesn’t help me work toward co-creating a better world.

In fact blaming others is typically a function of my imbalanced inner life working itself out on someone else.  In other words when I’m desperately grasping to my desire to be right about everything it’s probably because I’m living in fear and lost sight of the real aim of a spiritual life; which isn’t about winning but about experiencing a redemptive love that liberates, saves and sets us free.  It’s not about being right but about being humble enough to recognize the tug of God’s transcendent compassion at work which exists for us all and to extend that to the other who might disagree with me, trusting that we can both (or all) share in the healing and wholeness that comes when we receive grace (unearned love).

Unfortunately, when I blame others I find it far too easy to dismiss, dehumanize or objectify ‘them’.  It’s like Mother Theresa said ‘if you judge (or blame) others you don’t have any room (or time) to love them.’  All I know that love is the better way, the humble way, the Jesus way and the only way things will get better.

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