Updated: Jul 7
Blame. One of the underlying thoughts in our anger is a sense of superiority over others. This is because anger is rooted in a perceived violation of our own sense of right and wrong (Uprooting Anger, Robert D. Jones). We become the prosecutor, judge, and jury of another's actions. We elevate ourselves over others and refuse to recuse ourselves in the process.
This sense of pride leads to blame. Pride says "I am not angry because of something in me, but I am angry because of something that you have done. You are to blame for my behavior." There is a refusal to own our actions/reactions. We refuse to see our own heart. We are busy pointing out the splinter in the other person's eye while ignoring the beam in our own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).
Blaming others attempts to hide our own culpability before others and before God. The end result is that we blind ourselves to our own sin resulting in our ongoing bondage to and yielding to the power of sin in our lives. Because we refuse to see our sin, we do not repent, we reject the work of the Spirit within, and our sin of anger continues to rule our heart. All the while, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we do not have a problem, but everyone else around us has the problem.
Blame accuses others. In the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), we see this scenario played out. Adam and Eve attempt to hide from God, cover their sin, and refuse to confess their sin. Even when they are confronted, Adam blames Eve as though he is an innocent victim. Eve blames the serpent, as though she had no choice in the matter. They both blame another and both refuse to accept responsibility for their own sin.
One thing further to note is how they both blame God. Adam blames the woman that God gave him. Eve blames the serpent that God made. While it is not openly stated, the inference is that God somehow made the mistake and caused their sin. We do the same thing when we deny our own sinfulness, and we blame the people and circumstances around us that God has brought into our lives.
The opposite of blame involves confession. It requires us to look within ourselves first. Yes, the people and circumstances around us do affect us. God uses them to draw out the desires of our heart (our idols and inordinate affections). However, the people, circumstances, and God are not to blame for our angry response. It is from our own heart that our actions flow. Do not blame, but confess and repent of the ruling desires that have replaced God in our hearts.