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Getting beyond blame
Blame seems so entrenched that it tends to show up in every aspect of society. In one of his books, Coach John Wooden speaks to the point of personal conduct. He told young athletes in his basketball clinics that if they blamed somebody else for their poor conduct, “that’s weakness” (Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, 1997, p. 37).
In terms of group dynamics, when a discussion starts to assign overwhelming responsibility for failures or mistakes, it’s known as blamestorming. The term has become popular in the past few decades, but this pattern of behavior has actually been around since Bible times. The word blame derives from the Latin word blasphemare meaning blaspheme, reproach, revile.
Even Christ Jesus was blamed, or accused of blasphemy, when he healed a man of a serious malady by assuring him that his sins were forgiven (see Matthew 9:2–7). And his own disciples, overcome with fear, blamed him for not caring about their safety when he stayed asleep during a storm. Their boat flooded, but Jesus rose to the occasion, calmed the sea, and assured them they didn’t need to be afraid (see Mark 4:37–40). There’s our example: Jesus didn’t blame his disciples for their panic or react to their blaming of him. He made it a practice to seek solutions by trusting God’s goodness.
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