Blaming others

SERMON TOPIC: Blaming others

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 16 March 2014

Topic Groups: BLAME, SIN

Sermon synopsis: Accepting responsibility for your sin is vital.

Passing the buck is an expression said to have originated from poker. A marker or counter (e.g., a knife with a buckhorn handle during the American Frontier era) was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the 'buck', as the counter came to be called, to the next player.

'The buck stops here' is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. The phrase refers to the fact that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions. Truman received the sign as a gift from a prison warden who was also an avid poker player.
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Blaming others.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost.

He reduced his altitude and spotted a man below. He descended a bit more and shouted, Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am. The man replied, You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground . You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.

You must be in Information Technology, said the balloonist. I am, replied the man, How did you know?

Well, answered the balloonist , everything you told me is technically correct, but I've no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you've not been of much help at all.

If anything you've delayed my trip.

The man below responded, You must be in Management. I am, replied the balloonist, but how did you know? Well, said the man, you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems.

The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now somehow, it's my fault.

Genesis 3:11-13.

Who told you that you were naked? the Lord God asked. Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat? The man replied, It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it. Then the Lord God asked the woman, What have you done? The serpent deceived me, she replied. That’s why I ate it.

Adam blamed Eve and inadvertently blamed God.

Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?

It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit

Eve blamed the serpent.

Then the Lord God asked the woman,

What have you done?

The serpent deceived me

Aaron blamed the people.

Exodus 32:7-24.

Then the Lord said to Moses, Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.

They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt. I have seen these people, the Lord said to Moses, and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.

Aaron blamed the people.

Exodus 32:7-24. (continued)

But Moses sought the favour of the Lord his God. Lord, he said, why should your anger burn against your people,

whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?

Why should the Egyptians say, It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth?

Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people.

Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.

Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Aaron blamed the people.

Exodus 32:7-24. (continued)

Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, There is the sound of war in the camp. Moses replied:

It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear. When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.

Aaron blamed the people.

Exodus 32:7-24. (continued)

And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

He said to Aaron, What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin? Do not be angry, my lord, Aaron answered.

You know how prone these people are to evil.

They said to me, Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him. So I told them, Whoever has any gold jewellery, take it off. Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!

Exercise God given authority even if it makes you unpopular.

Saul blamed the people and Samuel.

1 Samuel 13:7-14.

Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings. And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. What have you done? asked Samuel. Saul replied, When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash. I thought, Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favour. So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.

Saul blamed the people and Samuel.

1 Samuel 13:7-14.

You have done a foolish thing, Samuel said. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.

Saul blamed the people.

1 Samuel 15:13-29.

When Samuel reached him, Saul said, The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions. But Samuel said, What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear? Saul answered, The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites;

they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.

Saul blamed the people.

1 Samuel 15:13-29.(continued) Enough! Samuel said to Saul. Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night. Tell me, Saul replied. Samuel said, Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.

Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?

Saul blamed the people.

1 Samuel 15:13-29. (continued) But I did obey the Lord, Saul said. I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal. But Samuel replied: Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.

Saul blamed the people.

1 Samuel 15:13-29.

Then Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord. But Samuel said to him, I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel! As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbours to one better than you. He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.

Blaming others.

Remember the man attacked by thieves on the road to Jericho.

Some have said that after the Priest and the Levite had passed by him on the other side of the road, he had 2 other passer by’s.

They were two Psychologists. The one said to the other one “We must find the men who did this, they need our help”.

Blaming others.

Already, get ready to play the "Blame Game":

You are driving 100 mph in a 45 mph zone, you lose control, flip your car on a sharp curve, and critically injure yourself, who is at fault? No, not you, the Dept. of Transportation for not making the degree of banking on the curve great enough to keep you on the road at 100 mph. You are going 75 mph in a 55 mph zone, and you are pulled over, given a ticket that gives you enough points to have your license suspended. Who is to blame? No, not you. The officer should have been a little more sympathetic to your situation.

Blaming others.

You are wearing a shirt that needs to be ironed. Instead of taking it off, you try to iron with it on and guess what? That’s right, you get burned. Shame on you right? No, it is the company who made the iron who deserves blame because they should have warned you that ironing clothes while they are on your body is dangerous.

You decide that you need to fix the electrical component in your TV. Without unplugging it, you begin your work. Uh Oh! You guessed it. You get fried! Silly you right? No, RCA should have told you that you were at risk for electric shock!

Sinful man tries to plead ignorance.

Romans 1:18-20.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

John 15:22.

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Blaming Satan.

People blame the Devil for their own lusts.

Ephesians 4:17-24.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Blaming Satan.

People blame the Devil for their own lusts.

Galatians 5:19-21.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Who are you blaming for your sin?

“I’m only human”

“it’s Adam’s fault”

“it’s my wife”

“it’s my husband”

Accepting responsibility for your sin is vital.


Luke 5:4-8.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.

Simon answered, Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!

Accepting responsibility for your sin is vital.

The Prodigal son.

Luke 16:20-24.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.

Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.

Accepting responsibility for your sin is vital.

The thief on the cross.

Luke 23:39-43.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him:

Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us! But the other criminal rebuked him. Don’t you fear God, he said, since you are under the same sentence?

We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.

Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.

Accepting responsibility for your sin is vital.

Psalm 51 (David)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict and

justified when you judge.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Accepting responsibility for your sin is vital.

Psalm 51 (David)

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me

Passing the buck.

The expression is said to have originated from poker.

A marker or counter (e.g., a knife with a buckhorn handle during the American Frontier era) was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the "buck", as the counter came to be called, to the next player.

Passing the buck.

"The buck stops here"

is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. The phrase refers to the fact that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions.

Truman received the sign as a gift from a prison warden who was also an avid poker player.




Being accountable for one’s behaviour is part of growing up and being a mature adult. It is a fallacy that God is all forgiving, and when unrepentant offenders claim that God forgives me, they are wrong. God does not forgive us until and unless we confess our sins and repent (change our ways). The Lord holds us accountable for our behaviour, and he instructs us to hold each other accountable as well.

Accountability consists of three parts, Repentance, Restitution, and Personal Responsibility:


Remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; making a change for the better as a result of remorse; a turning from one’s sinful ways; feeling of such regret for past conduct as to change one’s mind regarding it, atonement; forsaking of sin; the feeling or act in which one tries to right a wrong, it always includes the admission of guilt, and also at least one of: a solemn promise or resolve not to repeat the offence, or an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.

When we rebuke, set limits on, or break off our relationship with an unrepentant offender, they may shrug and tell us, I know God forgives me, the implication being that the Lord forgives them even if we don’t. They are wrong, the Lord does not forgive unrepentant evildoers. He requires that sinners humble themselves and come to him for forgiveness, and that they show remorse and change their ways.


The Lord requires that restitution, including interest, must be made to a victim

Only if the victim or his relatives cannot be found, will restitution to the Lord alone, be acceptable

Numbers 5:5-8.

The Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. But if that person has no close relative to whom restitution can be made for the wrong, the restitution belongs to the Lord and must be given to the priest, along with the ram with which atonement is made for the wrongdoer.


Notice that restitution is expected for any wrong done to another.

Exodus 22:1.

Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

Proverbs 6:31.

People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.


Exodus 22:3- 7. Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft.

If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession whether ox or donkey or sheep they must pay back double.

If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution from the best of their own field or vineyard. If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution. If anyone gives a neighbour silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbour's house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double.


Being responsible is what allows others to be able to trust you.

When you are responsible, you are usually also trustworthy. People know you will do the right thing. Responsible people are typically considered to be people of integrity and honour as well. Accountable adults understand that they are responsible for their choices. They are responsible for the RESULTS of their decisions. They realize that if their words or actions cause something to happen, they are responsible for what happened. And if they do harm ,they are responsible for undoing it.


Many offenders are fond of saying, But I didn’t mean it that way or I never meant for that to happen. BUT INTENT IS NOT THE ISSUE. RESULTS ARE.

If you accidentally cause something to happen, you still caused it. If you unintentionally cause something to happen, you still caused it.

If you inadvertently or carelessly cause something to happen, you still caused it! The damage is done, and the end result is the same, whether you meant it or not. And you still need to acknowledge that and take responsibility. And if it wasn’t an accident and you deliberately or selfishly caused pain for another- well, then you’re even more responsible for fixing what you did and making things right.


In the light of this we note the behaviour of Zacchaeus when he met Jesus.

Luke 19:1-10;

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.

A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.

So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.


Luke 19:1-10;

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.

Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Have you accepted responsibility for your sins, are you prepared to be accountable before God today.

All of us will give an account before God, in this life we can do so and receive his Grace and Mercy.

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