I’ve heard it over and over again. It no longer makes much of an impact upon me. Why? Because it isn’t for real!
“What are you talking about?”
The old saw that “if he/she had only done what he/she ought to have done, then I would have done what I should have done.” Usually, it isn’t put so starkly. Instead, it is covered with a lot of smothering piety:
“How could you have expected anything more when I have to live like someone of that sort? I’ve tried again and again, but he is just too much for a saint to live with.”
You see, you’ve got to respond by saying it’s like this:
“Even if you do have to live with someone who does you wrong, that’s no excuse for you to respond with wrong doing, or with giving up on your responsibilities. You are to do right before God—regardless of what others do or don’t do.”
Again and again in counseling it’s necessary to tell those who blame their failures on others something like this:
“It doesn’t matter what your wife does—you are responsible to do what God says, regardless. You shouldn’t be doing the right thing only if someone else treats you right; you ought to do it to please God! He didn’t wrong you.”
You will find it necessary again and again to sort out counselees’ responsibilities before God. Ever since the garden, people have been blame-shifting. God comes to Adam, and his excuse is “Lord, you gave me someone like her to live with”—blaming God and Eve for his sin. Eve, in turn, blames the snake. And, it seems, the only one who doesn’t blame anyone else is the snake himself-of course, there wasn’t anyone else left to blame! Perhaps, too, he was all too ready to take credit for his sinful deception and distortion of God’s Word leading to the fall of man.
But, when counseling, we must make it clear that before God that each tub stands on its own bottom. It isn’t important-so far as one’s own behavior is concerned—what one’s parents, children, spouse, or anyone else does—or fails to do. We all must face God some day and answer for the deeds that we did in the body! In that day, there will be no pointing of the finger. So, we might as well get used to taking responsibility right now; we surely will then!