Looking For Someone To Blame?

Looking For Someone To Blame?

Pastor Vincent - 20 November 2021

Weekend Devotion: Looking For Someone To Blame?

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With COVID infection rate fluctuating around a few thousands a day and increasing deaths occurring every day, Singapore who was once known as world class in its fight against the virus is now seen as one who tripped up in its fight against COVID 19. Well, if we are objective enough, it’s not something beyond our expectation if we were to go from pandemic to endemic. Yet, the reality sets in, and restrictions are imposed, we can’t help noticing a very common phenomenon, i.e. we start looking for someone to blame.


As thousands of cases loom for days and weeks with no end in sight, everyone just want someone to blame. For instance, lashing out at foreigners for bringing in the bug, or social distancing officers being too strict in enforcing the rules, or the politicians implementing new restrictions and changing them ever so often. Despite explanations given, people who are frustrated just refuse to be rationale. And they just grew more skeptical with the authorities as the days go by. There is simply a kind of anger harboring in the hearts of most people and it is shown through many netizens’ reckless comments. Yet, all these anger and angst are both misguided and misdirected. Why? Because it stemmed from a mind which first put its trust on men, and when men failed them, they could no longer contain that disappointment, and it brewed deep-seated emotions. 


I wonder if we remember when our first ancestors fell. When God confronted the man who ate the forbidden fruit, he responded grievously:


“The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it”

(Ge 3:12).


It was an irresponsible statement, attributing his own sin or mistake to someone’s responsibility. But isn’t that so typical of us? Didn’t we always try to inflict on others by blaming them for the trouble we went through?


Now, let’s take the case of the recent surge in infections. We are blaming the government or authorities. Why? Or during the recent Olympics, many netizens blame our once gold Olympian Joseph schooling for not even making it to the semi-finals. Why? Because we’ve put our trust in men. We’ve put so much hope in someone who can do us proud but he didn’t. We put our trust in our government who could get us out of the pandemic but they didn’t, not because they didn’t want to, but because like us, they are mere humans too. There are simply too many outcomes that are unpredictable, and no one can be sure of anything. As the experts say: “The virus’ mission is simple and single-minded: replicate. Give it half a chance, and it will… and it may well have more surprises in store for us.”


So as it happens, our disbelief in God and its repercussion is once again proven. When science looks so promising, when our leaders look so competent, we unreservedly put our trusts and hopes in them. Yet when they didn’t deliver as we hope for, we grew disappointed and bitter within. Angst and pressure built up in us, and we look for someone to blame. And often that is how we’ve sinned against others. 


So in this case, should we introspect how we could have often done the same thing to our loved ones also? We may have rely on them to provide us with all the understanding, help and convenience, which if they fail to do so, will incur our displeasure.

Now, if there is one thing we believers should learn from COVID 19, it is about how quick we are to sin with our hearts and words. How quick we are to lay blame on others without seeing how equally quick we’ve trusted men instead of God. How quick we are to accuse someone beside us for the pain or inconvenience we’ve gone through. Indeed we are so used to such a reactive mode.


Therefore, the Bible in (Eph 4:31-32) took great pains to teach us the way of love. It says:


Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


Now, instead of looking for someone to blame when things go wrong, the bible present us with a hypothetical situation, where we could be wronged or shortchanged by our brethren. Instead of going the revengeful way, the Bible instead instructed us to forgive each other, just as God forgave us in Christ. And the Bible doesn’t want any form of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slandering to exist within the family of believers. Instead, God want us to be kind and compassionate. And who should we be kind and compassionate to, my brethren? i.e. those who committed wrong, those who made mistakes, or even those who sinned against us. And God want us to deal with them with kindness and compassion.


Now, if we’ve really introspected the words that we utter, they are mostly careless, cruel and thoughtless remarks. We could just carelessly complain about a coworker behind his or her back. Or we could thoughtlessly imply something negative about our spouse to others. Why? Because we want to ease our displeasure.


Now honestly, there is so much sin in our tongue that the bible says it is like a small spark that sets the whole forest on fire. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison (James 3:5,8). And why is that so? Because it is dictated by a heart that is so self-centered that it only looks for someone or something to blame other than itself. It started with our first ancestor who sinned, and it became rampant in the whole human race. It exists in every marriage, every society, every human relationship.


Yet despite that, there is one who came to take all the blame though he has not sinned. And he is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. And through his redemption, he has reconciled us to God. With that, he has put in us a new heart – A heart that doesn’t take pleasure in blaming, but find satisfaction in loving and forgiving.


So my brethren, are we looking for someone to blame? Look to the One who took all our blame, and with the Spirit’s help, put to death every kind of blame we will attribute to others.

Pastor Vincent Choo

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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