Nothing is more frustrating than having someone point an accusing finger at us. We especially feel hurt when someone blames us without trying to understand where we are coming from. It’s called the “Fear, shame and blame game,” and it’s the oldest game in the world.
We’ve all played the game on both sides. Sometimes we point our own fingers. If we think about this honestly, we might realize people who point fingers are just afraid. It’s a human disease to shame and blame others when we are ashamed of our own behavior.
If we could sneak back to Eden, we might hear God calling for Adam and Eve in the garden. We might see them slowly crawling out of the forest only to discover God has been watching them all along. As God questions them an interesting pattern develops.
God calls, “Where are you?”
Adam answers, “We heard you in the garden,
and we were afraid because we were naked; so we hid.”
God says, “Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat from? ”
Adam says, “It was the woman you gave me —
she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then God says to Eve, “What is this you’ve done?”
Eve says, “The snake tricked me, and I ate.”
Perhaps God is asking these questions to help them to process what happened. The healthiest thing for them to do at this point was to simply admit what they have done. Instead they try to cover up their guilty feelings by blaming someone else. Eve blamed the snake. Adam blamed Eve. Then Adam actually blamed God for giving Eve to him.
I once knew of a teenage boy who wrecked his parents’ car and blamed them for letting him use it. Adam’s finger pointing is immature and lacking in gratitude. No matter what situation some people find themselves in, it’s always someone else’s fault. These people always feel like victims because they refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. And in the end if they do not accept God’s healing, they will eventually blame God–even though He has only planned good for them.
The fear, shame and blame game is rampant today.Whenever someone tries to shame and blame another person, there is always a snake nearby. Satan started this game. He is also called “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev.12:10). Like their father the devil, most abusers lie, then look for ways to shift the blame onto someone else. Shaming and blaming always leads us farther away from God and each other. Many marriages have been destroyed by the fear, shame and blame game.
Even in this very first round of the game, we can see how God treats fearful, shame-filled people. He doesn’t lecture or shame them. He simply speaks the truth in love. Adam and Eve now have a terminal condition, but God promises to send a Deliverer. By making the snake crawl on its belly, Adam and Eve will be reminded that a Deliverer is coming every time they see a snake slither by.
Jesus came to completely destroy the work of Satan–including this detrimental game of fear, shame and blame that leads to eternal death.
But when people keep on sinning,
it shows that they belong to the devil,
who has been sinning since the beginning.
But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.
-1 John 3:8
Hollywood has portrayed Jesus stepping on the head of a snake as a mere physical act, but God’s word picture of the Deliverer crushing the head of the snake is even more powerful when we realize God wants to do much more than destroy devils and snakes. Jesus came to wipe out the fearful, self-serving ideas of Satan from our minds forever. Destroying sinners doesn’t please God. He would rather win us back and fill us with His other-centered love until the entire universe is safe.
This is how love is made complete among us
so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment…
There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
-1 John 4:17,18
How is the love of Jesus erasing your fear?