Poverty Strongholds – Post Nine – Blaming & Excuses
- Poor Stewardship – link to past article
- Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
- Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
- Lack of Holiness
- Agreements with the Enemy
- Bad Theology
- Blaming & Excuses
- Refusing to be a Blessing
- Pain Upon Pain
Let’s take a look at the 8th Poverty Stronghold – Blaming & Excuses
We begin in life with the ability to take responsibility for our own lives within our specific context and circumstances. We would say that we have 100% ability to be responsible for our lives – this could be described as having the power to move our lives forward — As in DIAGRAM A
As we go along in life bad things happen. There are hurts and wounds, there are injustices from without, there are confounding in all forms. If our response to these things is to blame others or to make excuses for ourselves, it is as though we are cutting out a part of our power and giving it away.
For instance, ‘My parents didn’t love me”, or “I never got an education”, etc. While these things may have been true, to use them as excuse for your life gives them way too much continued power over your live — As in DIAGRAM B
If we make a habit of blaming and of excusing then we will continue to give our power away — As in DIAGRAM C
“The government is crappy”, “The school system is terrible”, or “That person took my opportunity” again, only gives away your personal power (strength and vision and more) to move your life forward — As in DIAGRAM D
If the problems that you have are the fault of others, then you are a victim and you are stuck. There is nothing you can do if everyone else is to blame.
But, if you begin to take back your power, if and as you take full responsibility for the current state of your life, then you will begin to know the actions to take, the decisions to make, and where your energy might best be used for the next part of your life.
Habits of excuse making and of blaming others can be reversed. It will take some concerted effort on your part, and immense bravery and courage to stand in your rightful place of power over your own life, but it can be done. You can reclaim DIAGRAM A as your life reality.
To reclaim the full power (again, remember that power means the ability to move your life forward) there are a few old habits to refuse and a few new habits to acquire.
1. Old Habits to Refuse:
- stop speaking out blame
- stop speaking out excuses
Even if someone else has done something wrong that has influenced or impacted your life, you do not have to bring that to attention, you do not have to focus on it, and you do not need to try and make that thing right.
Every day for every one of us things go wrong. Life has trouble. Many things we cannot control or change. BUT we can control and change our attitudes, the words that we use and how we use them, and our general way of going about life.
Remember, that our life springs from our hearts, and at the issue of blaming and of making excuse is the issue of a heart that is demanding others to fix things, that is judging others for their actions and choices, and that is basically surrendering to the difficulties of life.
Now, we cannot even change our own hearts all the way, much of heart transformation is the work of the Lord. But we can choose the words that come out of our mouth and changing from a habit that gives power away to a life that stands in strength begins with our words.
So the first thing to do is to listen to your own words. What are you speaking? Are you making excuses for the things you do or don’t do, are you blaming others for where things are at? This must stop. Nothing will change unless you refuse to speak blame and excuse.
Consider these two variations on a situation (this is a north american example):
You are late to an appointment. There was an accident on the freeway and then a car in front of you had car trouble and things went from bad to worse. Here are two ways you could navigate the conversation when you finally arrive at your destination.
A. “I can’t believe I am so late, I was on the freeway and then there was this accident, you wouldn’t believe the back-up and the tow-trucks seemed to take their sweet time (rolls eyes) and then just when I thought I’d get going again the car in front of me had car trouble (rolls eyes again), its just been a crappy day all around and I’m not even sure I’m up for that meeting we were going to have.”
B. “I am sorry I am late. Let’s start right in.”
Which one is more powerful?
It is so simple, and difficult, and powerful. As you simply stop speaking (stop yourself mid-sentence if you must) blame and excuse your life will change. Your heart will shift, you will see life differently, and out of this the fruit of your life will increasingly become healthy.
2. New Habit to Acquire:
- take 100% responsibility for your life as it is now (and as it has been)
Taking 100% responsibility is not to say that everything has been your responsibility. It is simply a place to come from and a space to hold for your own life. As you come from this place of taking 100% responsibility you will be surprised by the shift within your mind. All of a sudden what seemed insurmountable obstacles have clear solutions and what seemed lost and broken takes on new possibilities.
So, we simultaneously refuse to blame or make excuses and we take on 100% responsibility for our actions and our choices and for where we have ended up to this point in time in our lives.
Of course, this is more difficult than it sounds.
The most difficult piece of this is the humility required to make no excuses. For instance, consider that you had made a commitment to deliver a package to a friend on a certain day but you didn’t get the package to your friend when you said you would. Perhaps you ran out of money for the journey, perhaps you got lost, maybe your grandma died and you just couldn’t make it. It doesn’t matter if the reason is small or big, a person who is intent on taking back the full power of their lives will not make excuse for what went wrong, they will simply acknowledge the mistake and take responsibility for it.
“I am sorry that I am two days late getting this to you.” end of sentence. Nothing more need be said. You don’t have to explain that your grandma died, that you got lost, or that you just didn’t have the money to get there on time. This is your inside knowledge, but do not use that knowledge to make excuse. Do not speak these things out loud.
Often, these sorts of things are understood to be an ‘explanation’ or ‘reasons’ why, but I tell you, the people depending on you are not really interested in your reasons why such and such couldn’t happen, they want to know if you are a leader willing to take responsibility for your own actions (if you cannot take responsibility for your own actions how can you take responsibility for your organization or for the promises and commitments you are making to them or to your community or nation?). Bottom line, giving your ‘reasons’ will undermine other people’s trust in you.
And as you speak your reasons and explanations you will undermine your own trust in you. The words we speak create neural pathways of habitual thought and ultimately action. To speak from a victim position (when we blame or excuse we are in the victim position), is to convince your own self that there is nothing that you can do, that you are simply surrendered to whatever life brings your way. You will try your best of course but you may come to believe that not much can be done. Your own life suffers first and foremost.
So, I encourage you to begin paying attention to the words coming out of your mouth. Hear how often you make excuse or blame others. You may be shocked by what you find. Listen for the tiniest excuse making. And then stop speaking these things. This will take some work, but it is very doable.
Then, begin taking 100% responsibility for the state of your life. Bit by bit look at the various areas of your life and assess where you are not taking responsibility. Ask yourself what it might look like to take 100% responsibility for that area of your life. If you cannot get past the blaming of others then spend some time forgiving and letting go of bitterness regarding the impact others have had on you. These things are real of course, but they do not have to have any power over you. You can go forward despite the terrible bad things done by others.
Again, as you focus on what has gone wrong, as you speak blame, as you make excuse, you give your power away, again and again and again. You want to regain this back in full measure. So bit by bit intentionally release blaming and excuse making and find your life belonging to you once more.
Go in the grace of the Lord into full power (which is always 100% responsibility) over your life.