The search for culprits

Blame. Little squabbles among people are often over who is to blame for some misfortune at home, work, or school. But sometimes these witch hunts cause more than their share of unhappiness.

Why not have them adjusted instantly instead of letting them spoil even part of the day for someone?

The Bible sheds helpful light on who the real culprit is when things don't go right. Confronted once by a man who was blind, Christ Jesus' disciples asked, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"

Jesus' answer, so noteworthy for its great love and truthful simplicity, was "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." n1 After showing in this way that there was no real culprit, Jesus restorted the man's sight.

n1 John 9:2, 3.

Blamelessness is one of the gifts our heavenly Father has given us all. It follows from the nature of God. God is Love, and He is good. His children are likewise good and pure. Mary Baker Eddy n2 drew a clear line between God's sinless man and evil, which is not included in man or in God's universe. She writes, "Remember that man's perfection is real and unimpeachable, whereas imperfection is blameworthy, unreal, and is not brought about by divine Love." n 3

n2 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 414.

Far from pinning blame on His creation, God knows man as constantly perfect. As His Christ comes to us and awakens us from the dream that we are mortal sinners, we too can see the constant perfection of the real man. Then, instead of affixing blame to others, we are ready to correct them -- or ourselves -- in a Christly, healing way.

The Christly touch that said, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, " not only frees any supposed culprit from needless condemnation but also can heal whatever needs healing. Jesus did not leave the man without restoring his sight.

When lessons are learned through the Christly method of correcting, they are not forgotten. Perhaps someone does need to know about and correct a mistake he has made. But haven't we all been glad to learn from our mistakes?

There are many ways in which these lessons are brought home to people, whether the lessons involve small incidents or more serious matters. But it is loving, patient thought listening for God's direction, not stern-faced anger and blaming, that helps lessons be learned. Anger and resentment merely cloud the situation further, making it even more difficult to restore peace.

And let's be sure not to exclude ourselves from this blame-free environment. Blame is not an entity that must be placed somewhere when things go wrong. It doesn't have to surface at all, for it doesn't have validity in God's way of working.

This is in no way a justification for covering wrongdoing. Sin of any kind needs to be brought into the light to be corrected. But this work can best be done with love, for evil is no part of the true, immortal man.

By condemning the evil but not the person and lifting our concept of man to spiritual truth, we complete our part in the divine equation of God's corrective and restorative power. Then we can truly feel " . . . holy and without blame before him in love." n4

n4 Ephesians 1:4.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1, 2

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