I love the quote that the author uses to introduce Lie 16, so I'm going to use it, too. : )
"At Three I had a feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers,
And so it follows naturally I poisoned all my lovers.
But I am happy; now I've learned the lesson this has taught;
That everything I do that's wrong is someone else's fault."
~ Anna Russell's "Psychiatric Folksong"
How true this seems to ring in our society today!! I am not one to dismiss hurts and wrongs that have impacted us into becoming who we are. There is no doubt that all the things we experience shape us, in good ways and bad.
The problem is that in a pattern begun long ago with Adam and Eve, we use these experiences to shape us into "blame-shifters", giving us nice (and some would say valid) little excuses for our behavior that allow us to shirk our responsibilities for our own actions. Regardless of what has influenced us to make the choices we do, our choices are OUR choices.
Several testimonies in Lies Women Believe....and The Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss illustrate how expertly we do this:
"By constantly blaming others, blaming circumstances, and blaming God, I found myself totally irresponsible for my life, my sins, and my choices -- and then I was trapped and felt helpless and out of control."
"I used to believe I was easily depressed due to being a victim. I felt like being depressed was not my fault. When I began to realize that my depression was caused by my choice to be angry, I began to take responsibility for my sin and found freedom."
"I had an ungodly relationship with a male coworker. I relied on him for emotional support and affection because my husband was keeping secrets from me, using pornography, and not "being there" for me. In my eyes, my husband's behavior had pushed me into this relationship. I was giving myself a reason and an excuse that 'it was not as bad as what he was doing'."It is so natural to want to shift the blame ~ at least part of it ~ onto the people or circumstances in our lives that have "made" us the way we are. Many of us have loved ones that will help us do so.....because they care and want to see us treated well, because they feel our pain, and because they understand whatever we're going through.
Unfortunately, we alone are responsible for our choices and our behavior. That also goes for whoever may be making it more difficult for us. ; )
Satan wants us to believe that if we accept our personal responsibility for our own actions that we will be plagued with unnecessary guilt. The Truth is that we can only ever fully be free from guilt by accepting complete responsibility for our attitudes and actions, repentance and forgiveness in Christ.
"Sin is the best news there is, the best news there could possibly be in our predicament. Because with sin, there's a way out. There's the possibility of repentance. You can't repent of confusion or psychological flaws inflicted by your parents -- you're stuck with them. But you can repent of sin. Sin and repentance are the only grounds for hope and joy."~ John Alexander
True Story. I've experienced this one for myself. Repeatedly. = )
My Mustard Seed Planting verse(s) for the week:
"Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me."