Chloe and Cole have begun blaming each other for every little thing that happens around the house. "Who's making that noise?" I asked them one night. "Chloe is," Cole responded.
Yet Chloe was silent. "Who turned on the television?" I asked. "Cole did it," Chloe accused. But Cole wasn't even in the room.
Then last week, something happened. During Sunday school, Chloe tipped over her snack cup, spilling some juice onto the table. She looked at the spill and said, "Cole didn't do that. It's no one's fault but my own."
What a big girl! How awesome of her to take responsibility for her actions, even when it would have been easy to blame it on Cole. This would have been hard to explain, though, since Cole was in another classroom. Still, such facts never stopped her before.
That morning, Chloe demonstrated a spiritual truth that we all must come to realize: We can't blame others for our own missteps. If we sin, we can't say it was someone else who did it. We can't say someone else made us do it.
Flip Wilson got a lot of laughs with the oft-quoted, "The devil made me do it!" Yet sin is not a laughing matter. And even though the devil may tempt us to sin, we ultimately must choose to act on the temptation and engage in the sin (James 1:14-15).
So even though he makes a convenient target, we can't even blame the devil. We can only blame ourselves.
King David knew this. When the prophet Nathan confronted David concerning his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, David had several people he could have blamed.
He could have blamed Bathsheba for catching his eye. He could have blamed Uriah for leaving her at home alone. He could have blamed Joab for placing Uriah on the front lines so he'd be killed (albeit at David's order). He could have blamed Satan for tempting him. He could have even blamed God for not stopping him from committing these sins in the first place.
But David knew better. When confronted, David admitted his sin (2 Samuel 12:13). He knew he had no one to blame but himself.
The amazing thing is, when David confessed his sin, God forgave him (2 Samuel 12:13). There would be consequences as a result of David's actions (2 Samuel 12:11-12, 14-18), but God forgave him.
We must also take responsibility for and confess our own sins. When we do, our heavenly father will forgive us. But forgiveness will not come until we stop blaming others and own up to what we've done.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears every other week in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com.