If you could change one thing to improve your chances of success, would you do it? I believe you would. What I’m about to share will change your life forever and position you to overcome obstacles, set-backs and past failures. But be warned: Knowledge only benefits you if it is applied. An intellectual concept by itself is a stumbling block and a deception. The knowledge God gives you for a situation is helpful only when you step out in faith on it. So plan to put this knowledge into action.
Get past the Great Barrier
The one great barrier that I see we all need to remove is the habit of blame shifting. What is blame shifting? It’s deflecting the attention concerning an incident away from you and towards another person or entity. For example, a husband who hits his wife may say: “I would have never hit her if she hadn’t talked to me that way.” Or an adulterous wife might say: “I would have never looked for love if he hadn’t stopped paying attention to me, going out drinking with his friends every night.”
Though it may seem insignificant, shifting the blame is a common and acceptable problem. Our story of the wrong done to us by others may be the truth, but it’s rarely the whole truth!
It’s true that our spouse spoke harshly and withdrew his or her affection. The truth be told, we responded negatively which puts some of the responsibility on us. By not accepting our part, you and I build a story that is only half true and, therefore, undermine our future success. How? Failure to accept responsibility for what happens today causes us to undergo the same experiences repeatedly.
Why do you blame shift?
- You are afraid of being rejected more than you already are. Rejection is very painful and facing more seems unbearable.
- You are ashamed of your bad decision and don’t want anybody to see you that way. It’s like our first parents who sinned and hid from God because they were afraid of being found out. They recognized their nakedness and put on fig leaves (excuses) to cover their shame. …And they blame shifted. Adam blamed God and the woman. The woman blamed the serpent.
Now, it’s true that Eve tempted Adam, but that’s not the full reason he sinned. It’s true that the devil tempted Eve, but that’s not the whole reason she disobeyed God. As long as you fail to accept your part in the problem, there is no hope of breaking the cycle of failure in your marriage, your business, your relationships, your career, etc.
Accept your part in the problem
Accept your small part in the story (I say “small” because most people only see themselves as having a tiny role in the problem…but something is better than nothing.) When you do:
- You confront the part of you that is in rebellion towards God’s will. If you never humble yourself, it becomes a negative seed that shows up again the next time you start over.
- You lessen the anger, hurt and outrage toward the other people or entities involved—because you took responsibility for your part (no matter how small).
- You attain the ability to forgive yourself and others for their part in your hurt. Remember, God’s presence is the most important thing in your life. (“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).” “Blessed are they that have a pure heart for they shall see the Lord (Matt. 5:8).”)
- You clear the way for future success. The next time you step out in faith, you won’t be plagued by past failure. This time, you’ll succeed, instead of having to start things over and over again until you give up.
- You shed your victim mentality and tell your story with humility. Remember, “God resists the proud but exalts the humble (James 4:6; I Peter 5:5).”
Success is in your hands
Your success is in your hands, no one else’s. Make the decision to stop blame shifting and remove the one barrier that has been hindering your success. Deal with YOU and let God deal with everyone and everything else!
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