One of the oldest responses to unfortunate circumstances is blaming someone, or something, else: “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it,” Adam said to the Lord in Genesis 3:12. In the very next chapter Cain responds to God’s query about Abel with a question: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9).

From those first days of man’s existence to today’s headlines, there is a continued effort to dodge personal responsibility when things for which we are responsible go wrong. Yes, circumstances intrude on even the best-planned lives. There is sin in this world, and we’re all victims.

Yet on hearing of too many of today’s despairing headlines, I wait—in vain, usually—for someone to say they are responsible. Too often those caught in dire straits blame this or ... »
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