THE BLAME GAME
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
The way we think and feel about ourselves affects our destiny, we need to see ourselves as God sees us.
Guilt is described as: an emotional reaction we experience over the disparity between who we are or how we act and who we think we ought to be.
ALL OF GUILT IS ASSOCIATED WITH THESE FOUR THINGS:
1. FEAR OF PUNISHMENT
2. LOW SELF-ESTEEM
3. FEAR OF REJECTION
4. FEELINGS OF CONDEMNATION - Difference between condemnation and conviction Romans 8: 1 is certainly true, but read in light of Romans 7: 18 - 25
UNRESOLVED GUILT WILL PRODUCE THESE THINGS IN OUR LIVES:
1. Distress and anxiety
3. Legalism or religious activity
6. Condemnation - which in reality is self blame - Condemnation leads to blaming and condemning others because of a felt need to be right with ourselves.
7. Low self-esteem
8. Feelings of rejection
Which leads to anxiety, doubt, fear, negativity, anger, pessimism, criticism, judgmental, failure, apathy, procrastination, shame, insecurity, trying to please, doing anything to be accepted
Every disturbance within the human experience can be traced back to what is considered “the fall”. The fall is a theological expression that denotes man losing the well being or completeness for which he was created because of sin. Before sin entered the human race Adam and Eve had unbroken, intimate fellowship and communion with God. After sin man was painfully aware of shame, guilt and fear which disturbed every part of his being in relationship to God and the purposes for which God created him.
Genesis 3:1-21 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 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.” So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” 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.” 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. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Guilt becomes a motivating factor in our lives in dealing with one another and ourselves for instance we play the blame game with our comments and thoughts. We accuse others in order to manipulate or control so that they will give in to us or suffer the consequences. E.g. Parents with children, our children then return the guilt with similar statements.
We tell our spouses “You never spend time with me” We say to our friends “Where did you get the money for that?” Your not going out looking like that everybody will laugh at you. I’ve told you a thousand times when are you going to get it? “After all I’ve done for you”
We inflict punishment on ourselves in words and actions
Matthew 27:3-5 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
For some Christians who feel like this even their confession of sin reinforces their feelings of inadequacy or failure rather than provide reassurance and forgiveness.
To remedy guilt and condemnation man has tried to compensate by making our own leaf coverings seen in the following common five ways we try to cover up guilt on our own.
PROJECTION In projection we try attribute our guilty feelings to others.
REPRESSION This is when we try to bury our feelings and forget them from our memory by external actions, work and effort.
COMPULSIVE ACTIVITY This is seen in a drive to be successful and is evidenced in the workaholic and perfectionist.
OBSESSIVE THINKING This when we accuse ourselves for failing to do the right thing or beat ourselves up for what we constantly think of as mistakes in our lives.
SUBLIMATION is another common defense for guilt. This when we work out our guilt through socially acceptable ways – anger is a classic – we know what motivates our feelings is wrong but turn it to a cause that seems just. E.g. Anti-abortion etc
The first instance where guilt manifested itself in human existence, it was directly related to the partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They ate from the tree which was forbidden, and so entered into death. A tree with good fruit became the source of death for them, because they ate of it in disobedience. It was not until after they had eaten, that they and their descendants received that instinctive awareness of good and evil that we usually refer to as "conscience". The knowledge of good and evil was not by its nature a bad thing to have; but when reviewed in a state of disobedience, it produced spiritual death by showing them their guilt.
The conscience is not the ultimate standard of moral goodness; the conscience must be formed by the will of God. The conscience of the believer has to be cleansed by the work of Jesus Christ; if it is no longer to accuse and condemn. Believers are to work to maintain pure consciences. They also must be careful not to encourage others to act against their consciences. To act contrary to the urging of one’s conscience is wrong, for actions that go against the conscience cannot arise out of faith.
Acts 24:16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
1 Timothy 4:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
The biblical solution to guilt is redemption typified by the covering of animals skins God used to clothe Adam and Eve. This involved the shedding of blood which we read of in Hebrews 9:22 and according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
God has the only remedy for sin and condemnation, the blood of Christ, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
There is only one way to clear guilt and condemnation:
• Appropriate the Blood of Christ
• Renew our minds with the Word of God
• Listen to and obey the Holy Spirit
1 John 5:7-8 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
Witness: martureo to (be, bear, give, obtain) a witness, i.e. testify, charge, give [evidence], bear record, have (obtain, of) good (honest) report, be well reported of, testify, give (have) testimony, witness.
We need to understand the doctrines of justification, propitiation, adoption and sonship in order to walk in our freedom. Prodigal I’ll be a servant – God says no you will be a son.
Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.