The girls and I have been talking more and more about "owning" our own actions. The other day, as I was trying to settle an argument between three of them, I began to realize that they spend a lot of time blaming each other for what they have done.
"If she hadn't..." or "...but mommy she did it first!" After so much time listening to them placing the blame elsewhere I sat them down and told them to forget about what their sister did, be honest with themselves, and see if there is any possible way they could have done something different. I said "Imagine that Jesus is sitting right there next to you (cause he is), and tell me...were your actions such, that they would be pleasing to Him?"
We spend so much time in our lives placing blame on others for our actions, but the Bible doesn't give us any room to place blame, in fact it is quite the opposite. This is clearly illustrated in the story of the first sin in Genesis 3. Serpent engages Eve in a conversation, "Hey pretty lady...come on over here and eat this apple..No, no you won't die like God says you will...He just doesn't want your eyes to be opened so you will know what he knows."
Be assured...Eve was clearly aware of what God said about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, and yet, not only did she engage in conversation with temptation, but she gave in to it. She also turned around and tempted Adam, who was also clearly aware of what he was doing.
In vs. 13 Eve blames the serpent for her sin, but as you can see in vs 16 God gives Eve her own punishment.
To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”
Adam also gets his own punishment:
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“ Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Each party was separately punished for their involvement in this sin. Each party had their own guilt. Our salvation does not depend on other people, it depends on our relationship with Jesus Christ and each person must repent of their own sin, therefore, we must conclude, that there is nobody else to blame but ourselves when we do sin. The devil made me do it is not a good enough excuse as we can see from Eve's story.
We cannot control what other people do, we can only control what we do.
Romans 3:23 tells us that
"all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". God doesn't expect us to be perfect, he knows that we are going to stumble and fall, however, he does expect us to get back up, repent, accept our forgiveness and keep moving forward to strive for that perfection.