Do you find it easy to take responsibility for your sins, or is your knee-jerk reaction to try and shift the blame to others?
If you look up the term “deflection” or “blame-shifting,” most of the articles will tell you that it is a psychological disorder that characterizes narcissists and psychopaths. And many of those articles will counsel you to avoid such people, especially in romantic relationships.
Notably, very few of the articles treat “blame-shifting” as something we all do (i.e., they ironically shift the blame for shifting the blame on those nasty “narcissists”!).
That topic came up during house church as we studied Genesis 3 together. Look at vv 11-13:
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Gen 3:11-13).
When God asked Adam if he sinned, what did Adam say?
Instead of confessing, he blamed the woman. In fact, he blamed the woman whom God gave. In other words, Adam tried to shift the blame to Eve and ultimately to God.
And when God asked the woman about it, what did she say?
She confessed that she ate but tried to shift the blame to the serpent for tricking her. It wasn’t really her fault—but the serpent’s!
The guilty always look for scapegoats!
The truth was Adam and Eve both chose to disobey God by eating the fruit. No one made them do it. The serpent did not cause them to disobey. And God did not cause them to obey (or to disobey). It was their choice. They were self-caused. And as a result of choosing to disobey, Adam and Eve suffered the consequences.
So what is the Biblical way to deal with your sin?
Instead of trying to deflect blame for sin, the Bible says you should confess it. That’s how you find forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
When you stop trying to deflect your sin, and instead, agree with God (i.e., confess, homologeo) that you did what you did, then you’ll find peace within.