Blaming Others for Our Sins


Mike Johnson

It is widespread for people to try to blame their mistakes on others; we tend to want to shift responsibility. People also blame SIN on other people. Many did this in biblical times; regrettably, the blaming of sin on others also takes place a lot today. Commonly blamed for people's sins today are:

1. Satan — The idea "the Devil made me do it" is prevalent. At least people who say this realize Satan is involved in sin. However, they may not understand that we cannot shift responsibility for sin to Satan. Eve, in the beginning, tried to blame Satan when she sinned. She partook of the forbidden fruit and said in Genesis 3:13, "...The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Satan indeed tempts people; he does influence people to sin (I Cor. 7:5). However, Satan can be resisted (James 4:7), and the fact that Satan tempts us does not mean we are not responsible for our sins. It does no good to try and shift the blame to Satan.

2. God — Some people try to blame God for their sins. Perhaps this is what Aaron was trying to do in Exodus 32. He tried to explain the golden calf he made for the people to worship by pointing out (v. 24) that the people gave him the gold, and he went on to say, then ". . . I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out." Was he trying to say that it was a miracle from God?

It is essential to understand that God is not responsible for our sins. James 1:13 says, "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. . . ." Thus, we cannot blame God.

3. Wives — Some husbands try to blame their wives for many things, and some even try to blame them for their sins.

Consider one Old Testament example. Earlier, we noted that Eve tried to blame Satan for her sin. Adam did not try to blame Satan, but instead, he decided to blame his wife, Eve, for his part in the eating of the forbidden fruit. Eve did give her husband the fruit to eat and influenced his deed. Nevertheless, this did not make him less guilty.

When a man feels an inclination to shift responsibility for his sins to his wife to justify himself, he should consider the Old Testament example of Job and his wife. Job suffered much affliction, and his wife told him that he ought to just curse God and die. Job rebuked her and said in Job 2:10, ". . . Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" He resisted his wife's bad advice.

4. Husbands — At times, a woman who is a faithful Christian will have a husband who is not a Christian. Sometimes she may be neglectful in her service to God, and when confronted about her neglect, may blame her spiritual problems on her husband. Again, the husband may have caused her to have become discouraged. (Generally, it is more difficult for a person to be faithful to God if his/her spouse is unfaithful.) Yet, the wife is still responsible for her sins. Many other women have remained loyal to God even though their husbands have discouraged them spiritually by their words and deeds.

Peter gave some excellent advice to women, whose husbands were not believers, in I Peter 3:1 when he said, "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear." The woman is to win her husband to Christ by her "conduct." 


 5. Preachers — Sometimes, people become offended by something a preacher says in his sermon and refuse to attend any more services. They sometimes blame their unfaithfulness on the preacher when they asked about their neglect. It may have been the preacher said something correct and needful in his sermon. II Timothy 4:2 says that he is to "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." It is also true that a preacher can make a mistake in judgment as preachers are not perfect. Regardless of mistakes that others might make, we must remain faithful to God. We can blame the preacher for our neglect, but we are still responsible and must answer to God.

6. Other Christians — At times, one Christian my mistreat another. He then may try and excuse his neglect in serving God by this. Some might say they will not attend services because there are "so many hypocrites there." These are trying to blame their spiritual neglect on others, but they are still responsible for their sins.

Many people take the easiest course concerning their sins. Instead of repenting, they blame others. It does no good for us to shift responsibility. 

A person who is not a Christian must believe (Heb. 11:6), repent (Acts 17:30-31), confess Christ (Rom. 10:10and be baptized (Acts 2:38). A Christian who sins must repentpray, and confess his sins (Acts 8:22, James 5:16, I Jn. 1:8-10). God will not excuse any of us because of what someone else did or did not do. We bear the responsibility of our sins.