It seems that blame-shifting and responsibility-shirking has become ingrained in our systems. Time and again when something goes wrong, we never fail to push the blame to someone else and absolve ourselves of all fault. It happens everywhere – home, school, work, ministry and with friends. We are always reluctant to believe that we can be at fault, or at least, we have too much pride to admit that it might just be our mistake.
For instance, I’ve seen many people join and leave their church. More often than not, when they exit, they will find a pastor to crucify, a preaching style to criticise or a leader to cuss. I managed to do this of course, but in a less violent way. When I decided to leave my former church for Grace, I politely gave reasons like “you need to be 18 before you can serve”, “when the pastor preaches it’s like he’s scolding us” and of course the timeless classic of “it’s a family church that’s too cliquish”.
Surely we are familiar with these “justifications” when we considered leaving our church:
“Oh I prefer a more expository style of preaching.”
“The leaders are too demanding.”
“The youth group has too many rules.”
“I feel that I can’t grow anymore because the teaching is too basic.”
I think I recall BH (who happens to be one of my favourite speakers) saying something like this before, “If there was a perfect church, you wouldn’t be in it“.
Well, what is my point then? I think it’s always easier to change ourselves than to change other people.
- Before you complain about your imperfect church, ask if you’ve been a good member.
- Before you lament about your nagging mother, ask if you’ve been a good child.
- Before you carp about your boring job, ask if you’ve been excellent in all your tasks.
- Before you grumble about your substandard school, ask if you’ve been a good student.
- Before you whine about your unsatisfactory grades, ask if you’ve been studying hard enough.
- Before you grouse about your small allowance, ask if you’ve been a good steward of money.
- Before you mutter about your weird cell, ask if you’ve been putting effort to unify everyone.
- Before you kvetch about your disloyal friends, ask if you’ve been a reliable buddy.
So I urge everyone to do some self-scrunity once in a while. It may do you more good than harm.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)