Blame First, Forgive Next

This post is one piece of a great collaborative effort. Head over to Kelly Balarie's post for encouraging excerpts and links to tons of bloggers' fantastic testimonies on the Lord's work in their lives.

When I tell my husband about an incident and the way it hurt my heart, he listens. Patient as usual. My phrases go something like this: “This happened. Then this happened. It was a mess. I felt____.”

Inevitably, he asks.

“Why did that happen?

I stammer. I don’t get it. I just know I’m hurting. Why do men have to solve everything anyway?

The conversation continues and he gently pushes.

He believes I need to recognize the “why” when something hard or hurtful happens. If a person is behind an issue, I need to assign them blame. Righteous blame…also known as responsibility.

It feels so backwards to me.

Jesus taught us all about forgiveness. I belong to the God of grace. As I live among other people, I tend to see the good in them, and, if there must be bad, only accept that I’m the one at fault.

Isn’t humility accepting blame so others don’t have to?

Scripture doesn’t say so.

Forgive other people when they sin against you,” Matthew 6:14 affirms.

Those personal pronouns get me every time. Other people sin against me. I am to forgive them for it.


When I neglect to see others’ sin for what it is, I miss the opportunity to forgive them.

The reverse is true. If I sin against someone, pretending it never happened or wasn’t my fault keeps forgiveness at bay. Taking the righteous blame for my sin, however, opens the way for forgiveness.

1 John 4:10 sums up the Gospel: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

God didn’t send Jesus for all of us because I’m a sinner and you all are good enough people.

Likewise, Christ didn’t die for our sin without calling it out, leading us to repentance, and then washing it away.

How can we see our sins made white as snow if we don’t first identify them- bright, glaring, and scarlet as they are? Have you ever tried to forgive a sin without acknowledging the sin first?

2 Corinthians 5:10 continues on the topic: “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

When I neglect to assign others’ responsibility for their own actions, I falsely hold on to hurt and blame that aren’t mine. I tell Christ that the wrongs are my due and give a false account of what has gone on.

Who does a false account of sin serve?

Certainly not me. Definitely not the God of truth.

Absolutely not the people I divert blame from. Because one day, they will be held accountable.

Probably this serves Satan, though. He’s a fan of lies that keep us from God’s best.

So the question when I am witness to sin is this: will I participate in the opportunity to give or receive forgiveness and grace? Or will I withhold it by refusing responsibility?


This perspective shift has freed me from so much guilt and shame. I’m thankful today for righteous blame. I’m thankful that when I’m hurt by someone, I know that hurt hasn’t just “happened,” but that someone is responsible for it. And that same someone can be forgiven.

Friends, if we’re going to walk in forgiveness like Christ, we need to recognize the sinner and the sin we’re forgiving.

This post may also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.


11 thoughts on “Blame First, Forgive Next

  1. Pingback: Encouraging Words from The Blogosphere - Purposeful Faith

  2. irinaglazkova

    It’s much harder to forgive someone who doesn’t realize that they sinned against you. We can’t use excuses to sin. If we don’t get to the root we will not have the victory over sin.
    Thank you for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re wise to recognize that we do need to recognize hurt for what it is. Intentional or not, we do often cause pain to other people, and vice versa, and it’s forgiveness we need to receive and give, not just discounting our actions. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I have the issue of discounting or excusing others actions more than my own…and that’s not forgiveness! Thankful the Lord makes clear what forgiveness really involves- and that He forgives us : ) Thanks for encouraging me and stopping by today!


  4. Bethany, thanks for this reminder to be honest with ourselves and others when we are hurt. It is easy to sweep things under the rug, but we need to recognize what happens so that we can offer forgiveness and move on. Great ideas to remember!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes and amen. How beautiful to know we are forgiven by God but also that we can forgive others. Your husband is wise in helping you to identify what it is that you are feeling. I have been caught many times in the world of feelings but this doesn’t always help me to get to the root cause. The situation cannot be fixed until I recognize the problem for what it is.

    Thank you for your words and the wisdom you share here today.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, a perspective shift. Forgiveness is love in action. I am one to look for the root problem, too, and I love how you put it to get to the root solution. Thanks for sharing truth, friend!


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