When in Doubt, Project Blame
I work with people who have anger management issues. When someone starts a sentence with “My wife...,” “My husband...,” “My boss..,” or “My mama...,” I smile and wait. Then I’ll say, “Wow. So you have absolutely zero control over your emotions? Are you being completely controlled by external circumstances? People, aliens, the government, the president, the economy, your congressman, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your mom, your dad--it is all their fault?
The next automatic negative thought or stinking thinking trap is Them, Them, Them--believing that other people or circumstances are the causes of every problem you encounter. Jesus had something to say about this. This particular one has been around since Adam and Eve messed things up in the garden of Eden. When God confronted Adam about his disobedience, he immediately blamed Eve. I do not know about you, but some people working as therapist make a pretty good living helping people find a way to blame other for their current condition. FYI, I am not one of those folks.
Sometimes we avoid dealing with our own stuff by evaluating and criticizing others. Jesus instructs us to look at our imperfections before we censor and condemn the faults in others.
My wife has a business that she really enjoys. She is with Premier Designs Jewelry, a home-based business that allows here flexibility to be a grandmother, wife, and friend. It has been a lifesaver for her because it has had a positive impact emotionally, mentally, and financially to our family. By working her business, she has courageously pushed back the negatives from her early family life. Her self-esteem, love for God, and her leadership skills have grown. I am so proud of what she is done. She works hard. She has a dream. She is a leader. She encourages other women to have a dream and to move beyond their past hurts.
In the direct-selling business lots of people get into a business, and they get excited, at first. They want to make a success in business. They ask a few people to have a home show or to invite people over for a party and nobody shows up, or maybe their spouse isn’t supportive, so they decide to quit after a few negative responses. If asked why they dropped out, they typically say, “Well, none of my friends will buy. Or nobody will do this or that. People are against me. The culture is against me. The economy is against me.”
They find an external source to blame for failure. We’ve become a society of professional complainers and blamers. If we find the right person to blame, we feel justified in blaming people for our problems. If you believe that other people or circumstances are the causes of every problem you encounter, then you need to look inward. That is right. Take that journey inside and ask yourself this critical question: How did I contribute to this?
If your life is not going well, then you need to determine what you have done to contribute to the situation. If you have problems with personal boundaries, then lack of boundaries contributes to other people taking advantage of you. If you never stand up for yourself, then your reticence contributes to your lack of success. If you do not do your job, then your boss may reprimand you or terminate your job. Look inward and discover how you contribute to the problem, and then begin to take some positive steps to stop.
There is good news in all of this, you have the power to change the way you think. The Apostle Paul writes, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 NLT
John is a Counselor, Author, Speaker and Photographer that helps people "Get a Grip on Life."