“I didn’t do that!”
“That isn’t my mess.”
“I’m not sure who broke that. I don’t think I did.”
This drives me bonkers. “Boys, if you did this, just tell me. Own your stuff. Crenshaw boys own their stuff.”
So what do we do with blame shifters? Especially when we aren’t in the room to see what happened? So often, the boys are upstairs or outside and I’m in another room when I hear cries or crashes.
Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer here. Every circumstance will be different. But as a whole, there are verses in Scripture that address this. So I will give you several of them to pull from. I need to know these!
When I don’t see what happened upstairs Scripture says in Job 9:20 that the mouth will condemn. In her study guide, For Instruction in Righteousness, Pam Forster suggests parents conduct a little trial. She says to “question the child about what he did. Do not allow him to tell you what someone else did.” After a while, they may talk themselves into a corner and the truth will be revealed.
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
If I know that a child is concealing evidence or shifting blame then he will not prosper. If someone is making excuses then he will be denied privileges and disciplined accordingly. Blessing will need to be withheld from him. HOWEVER, as soon as he owns up, I will show him mercy. I want them to see that honesty rocks.
A couple of stories that illustrate consequences of blaming other people:
Exodus 32:1-24 Remember Aaron and the golden calf? Aaron summoned his people to bring everything needed for the fashioning of this idol and building an alter. When Moses approached him about his sin he totally pointed a finger to the people of Israel. (Like God didn’t know already).
What happened? God sent a plague on the people. Whoa.
In 1 Samuel 15:1-23 Saul downright disobeyed the commandment of the Lord to destroy the Amelekites. When confronted by Samuel he said….”but but but I did my part. It was the people. They did it! They disobeyed the voice of the LORD. (My paraphrase)
What happened to Saul? Ultimately, Saul lost the privilege of leadership and his kingdom. Yikes.
Samuel follows Saul false professions with these words, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination and presumption as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:22.23
Not owning his stuff caused Saul great rejection. That is quite a price to pay, wouldn’t you say?
So when our kiddos take responsibility what do we do? 1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When the boys own up it is good to spend time with them after discipline – to restore fellowship and tell them how proud I am of their honesty.
Lord, thank you for your Word. Thank you for showing us that even the “greats” like Aaron and King Saul got this wrong. Thank you for showing mercy to your people and cleansing them upon asking forgiveness. Oh, confession is so healthy. Thank you for the blood of Jesus that has the power to wash us and blot out our every transgression. I pray our children will get this. I pray they will seek you and practice taking responsibility for their sin. In Jesus Name. Amen.