60 Seconds – VictimismAuthor: Dave Arnold
Peter Hamill, in his article, “It’s Not My Fault,” wrote, “Victimism implies that nobody is personally responsible for the living of a life. The defeats, disappointments and failures once thought to be part of each human being’s portion on this earth are now always the fault of someone else.”
Solomon declared, “The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the Lord” (Proverbs 19:3). Because of foolish choices, we can “twist our way.” This phrase can be better rendered, “hurls his way headlong to destruction.” Much like an avalanche that rumbles down the mountain-path, and causes death and destruction, so the decisions we make can do the same. It is through one’s own foolishness many times that lead to ruin, then the tendency is to blame God, others, or even the devil, and not take personal responsibility.
“Perverse mankind, whose wills are free,
Charge all their woes on absolute decree’
All to the doing gods their guilt translate,
And follies are miscalled the crimes of fate.”
In his Psalm of repentance, David refused to blame others for his dreadful decision concerning Bathsheba. He spoke of “my transgressions,” “my sin,” and then wrote, “I have sinned” (Psalm 51). In March 2009, a 62-year-old woman was charged with stealing more than $73,000 from her church in the state of Washington. When the detectives interrogated her, she told them, “Satan had a big part in the theft.” It sounds like she was saying the devil made her do it.
The prophet Isaiah warned his generation to take personal responsibility for their dreadful condition. In chapter 50, verse 1, he said, “For your iniquities you have sold yourselves.” Fyodor Dosstoevsky said, “If you can put the question, ‘Am I or am I not responsible for my acts?’ then you are responsible.”
Anna Russell catches the spirit of passing the blame in the “Psychiataric Folksong:
“At three I had a feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers,
And so it follows naturally I poisoned all my lovers.
But now I’m happy; I have learned the lesson this has taught;
That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.”
“The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”