Any student of the Bible knows the story of Cain and Abel and of the first recorded murder. Because of Cain’s insincere offering, the Lord “had not respect… and Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” (Gen. 4-5) Motivated by greed, envy, and jealously, Cain slew his brother Abel. When his dastardly deed is discovered he is cursed by the Lord. I am sure that Cain, like most of us, lamented the fact that he got caught and rationalized that he had been driven to murder because he had been rejected. I’m sure that blaming the Lord for his acts was a way for Cain to excuse his unrighteous behavior.
For many of us, shifting the blame to others for our unrighteous actions is a convenient way of absolving us of any responsibility and the consequences that result from what we do. I have spoken to many individuals who have had horrible childhoods who have been abused by family, friends, or relatives. Others have had horrific marriages, or have been tested with all kinds of physical abnormalities or disease. Endless is the nature of tragedy that enters into the lives of many, and endless are the possibilities for us to blame this life on who we have become. Yet, while many of us play the same blame game as Cain, there are countless others who overcome all obstacles and live pure and wonderful lives.
I know of a man who was given away as a young child by his mother. Her love was conditional and she lived a life of excess, rarely taking into account the negative impact she was having on both him, and his siblings. He suffered from a debilitating handicap, which alone, might have derailed most. He battled the demons in his mind which told him he was less than others and the anger that lived so close to his heart. From time to time he had fits of rage and he wanted to strike out at the world…but he didn’t. In my mind he had plenty of reasons to ’blame’ God, and the world…but he didn’t. He stumbled from time to time but…he didn’t fall. He graduated college with honors, got an advanced degree, married, and has raised a wonderful family. He has become a productive contributor in the community where he resides. I admire him. He didn’t play the “blame game.” At the core of this man’s life is a faith in Jesus Christ and the redemptive power of His atonement.
I believe that any individual can change with the help of the Savior. It is never easy to do so. The blame game is much easier and can even garner sympathy from those around us. But it doesn’t help us find true happiness. It is a ‘Band Aid’ on a gaping wound that will not heal without the help of the master physician. No matter what the condition of our souls may be, may we look to Him who heals all and abandon the blame game of Cain that has existed from the beginning of time. In so doing we will find internal happiness and the peace we so desperately seek.