Lou Holtz an ESPN college football analyst and former coach said something once that rings true both on and off the field of play — The one who complains about the way ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.

I've also noticed that when many people drop the ball, their first reaction is not, "Oops, I dropped the ball." Their first reaction is, "Who can I pin this on? Whose fault is it? There must be something wrong with the ball. There must be something wrong the way the quarterback handed it to me. There must be something wrong with the coach. There must be something wrong with the rules of the game..." And in an election year, it's the Republicans' fault or it's the Democrats' fault. But it never seems to be the fault of the guy who dropped the ball.

There are those who spend their entire lives this way— every dropped ball is a reason to complain and a reason to place blame. I think we all have this tendency. In fact, this tendency goes all the way back to Adam. You know what happened in the garden. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, and later, when God asked Adam what was going on, Adam did a wonderful job of blame-shifting. "That woman," he said, "gave me some fruit." So it was her fault. But that wasn't all he said. "That woman *you gave me," he said, "so it was partly your fault, God." And then he said, "Well, really, it was the devil's fault: the serpent deceived me." Adam had lots of blame to go around, didn't he? But who does the Bible say was really responsible? Paul summed it up: "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin." (Romans 5:12) That one man Paul refers to is Adam.

This tendency to place blame is part of our fallen, human nature. It's something we need to watch out for. When it creeps in, and we start shifting responsibility away from ourselves and start pointing fingers at everyone else, we need to (like Barney Fife says) nip it in the bud. We need to stop fixing blame, and start fixing our attitude, so that we can fix the situation. As long as you're placing blame, you're only crippling yourself. In fact, do you know how to spell blame. B-LAME.

The book of Proverbs says, A man's folly ruins his own life, yet his heart rages at the Lord. (Proverbs 19:3)

Have you ever known someone who does this? There are people who spend years cutting corners at work and then want to know, "God, how could you let me lose my job?" There are those who treat their spouse with contempt and their children with hostility and then they want to know, "God, how could you let me family get away from me?" There are those who ignore their health for decades and then want to know, "God, how could you let me get sick?"

Placing blame. It doesn't have to be that way. You can turn this tendency around. How? By deciding today to take responsibility for your life. Every part of it. Every detail. Make these three commitments: (1) I will not complain. (2) I will not play for sympathy. (3) Regardless of how I got to where I am today, I will take responsibility for the next step I take.

Knowing God empowers us all the way, we just do our best; He does the rest.


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