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 Matthew 25:14-30 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered to them his goods.
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and dig in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered to me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered to me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are an hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not strewed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth: see, there you have that is yours.
26 His lord answered and said to him, You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed:
27 You ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received my own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents.
29 For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has.
30 And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
American King James Version×and Luke 19:12-27 Luke 19:12-27 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called to him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds. 17 And he said to him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, have you authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, your pound has gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be you also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is your pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man: you take up that you layed not down, and reap that you did not sow. 22 And he said to him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Why then gave not you my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required my own with usury? 24 And he said to them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that has ten pounds. 25 (And they said to him, Lord, he has ten pounds.) 26 For I say to you, That to every one which has shall be given; and from him that has not, even that he has shall be taken away from him. 27 But those my enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring here, and slay them before me.
American King James Version×. 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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