When we get into trouble in our lives, whom do we blame and should we blame at all?
Like many people around the country, I have been following the Casey Anthony trial. I have been following it from the first time the news broke that Caylee, Casey’s toddler, was missing. In 2008, Casey was indicted on charges of first-degree murder of her daughter, and her trial started in May 2011.
I was totally blown away by her lawyer’s opening statement, which said that Casey’s father was to blame for how she turned out, and even for the murder of her child. Casey’s lawyer went on to explain, in graphic detail, the abuse that Casey suffered at the hands of her father. I am not sure why I was surprised at this defense; it seems to be the norm in our society to use the “blame game” as a defense. This practice is commonly used in the court system to help the defendant avoid paying the penalty for their actions. According to her defense attorneys, Casey’s father was responsible for the death of her toddler and for the numerous lies that she has contrived through this process. Note that on July 5, 2011, the jury’s verdict was announced: Not guilty on the three major charges but guilty on four counts of lying to law enforcement officers.
He wasn’t a “victim”
There are countless stories that I could use as examples of people getting in on the blame game (I like to call it “the victim syndrome”). However, let me relate a story I just read of a young man who, despite growing up under horrific circumstances, did not use the blame game. His name is Sung Bong Choi, a 22-year-old Korean laborer,who gave a breathtaking performance on “Korea’s Got Talent.” Sung was dealt an incredibly tough hand at life—he was placed in an orphanage at the age of three and ran away at the age of five because of abuse. He lived alone, homeless, for 10 years, and sold gum and energy drinks on the streets to live. When he told the judges of the show that he was a manual laborer, people in the audience laughed. Their attitude quickly changed when he told his heartbreaking story and began to sing. There was not a dry eye in the audience, and their amusement turned into admiration.
While homeless, this young man took his GED test, went to art school (when he could afford it), and took voice lessons. A video of his performance can be found on the internet. While his story is heartbreaking, it is a story of hope, perseverance, and following his dreams. Choi is not using the blame game but is rising above his circumstances. He has become an inspiration to all who have seen him.
The story of Choi is such a contrast to the Anthony case. While Casey’s family was not perfect, she had a family, a home, and parents to provide for her. Even if her father did abuse her, it is still no excuse for her actions. She refuses to take responsibility for anything; it is everyone else’s fault but her own. What is striking is that both Casey and Choi are young adults who have made completely different choices.
Playing the blame game
While most of us are not as drastic as Casey in playing the blame game, if we are not careful, we can get in on the blame game as well; that will only hold us back in life. We can use the common excuses for not overcoming—that it is my parents’ fault for the reason I am the way I am, or my circumstances, and so on… Using the blame game can only rob you, hold you back, and even cripple you. It is a crutch that many use to stay in their comfort zone, instead of reaching out to be the very best that they can be.
Here is one example in which the blame game can be used. Do we blame our genes as to why we are overweight? “I am overweight because my parents, my sisters, and brothers are all overweight. It is in my genes, so therefore, I cannot lose weight.” Instead, we should take the problem by storm and be proactive. Take it to God in prayer and study about the right things to eat and the food we should avoid to help us overcome the weight problem. Using the blame game is the easy way out, which prevents us from being all that we can be.
Another way of blaming
When we stand before God to receive our reward, God will take into consideration the obstacles that were laid in front of us but our reward will come from our overcoming. We all know the story of the talents mentioned in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27. The third man, who did not grow but hid his talent, is a prime example of using the blame game. Look what God did to him. God removed the one talent he did have and gave it to the first one who doubled his talents.
My own childhood was horrible and, in many ways, I can relate to Sung Choi, but I in no way blame my parents for the outcome of my life. I am the captain of my ship, under God’s great guidance and protection. I am the one to be held accountable for how my life turns out and no one else. So are you!
The blame game is a ball of chains wrapped around your ankles which keeps you from being what God wants you to be. Ask God to remove those heavy chains and be all that our great Father wants you to be and knows you can be! Let’s be an inspiration to others, as Sung Bong Choi is, by being accountable, growing, and removing the blame game from our lives.
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