Blame Shifters

‘And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”’ [Genesis 3:11-13 NIV]

1406450_24653656I have been reading Genesis recently, and loving the story of creation all over again. But when I got to what happened in the Garden of Eden, something stood out to me.

God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was the one thing He asked them not to do. But the serpent came, Eve was talked into it and then passed the fruit on to Adam. When God came looking for them, they hid — something I’ve seen my children do when they know they’ve been naughty.

Then, the blame shifting started. Adam said ‘it was that woman you gave me – she made me do it.’ And, of course, Eve passed the buck on to the serpent – ‘that slimy snake tricked me.’ No-one wanted to take the blame for this act of disobedience.

1340355_50366791The thing that I noticed more than other times I’ve read it is that all three of them received discipline for their part in it. None got away unscathed. The serpent was cursed to slither on his belly all his days and be at enmity with the woman. Eve was punished with pain in childbirth. And Adam was forced to labour and groan over weed infested soil, to provide food for his family.

When something goes wrong, an argument ensues, or a relationship is broken, there is always more than one side to the story. Usually both sides (or more if more are involved) have a degree of fault to be owned. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all own our own responsibility for mistakes, rather than blame shift? Relationships would be restored much quicker if we did.

Published in: on 14th January, 2013 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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