Tag Archives: Adam and Eve

Taking the Blame for a Wild Pitch

Story of the Day for Monday March 19, 2012

Taking the Blame for a Wild Pitch

                   “Have you eaten from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?” “The woman you gave me, gave it to me to eat, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What is this you’ve done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 

                                                 Genesis 3:11-13

Contrary to public opinion, blame was not first discovered by political talk show hosts. Blaming others goes back to the Garden. God asks Adam if he ate from the tree.  Instead of admitting it, he blames both God and Eve: “the woman YOU gave me . . .” When God directs his question to Eve, she passes the blame to the Serpent.


TV station managers love bad weather because it’s news. Meteorologists, on the other hand, hate storms. They have learned that people are furious and rain down obscenities on them when bad weather hits the area.  One forecaster in Louisville said she hates to go to the grocery store during storms because everyone blames her for the bad weather.


And blaming others is contagious. Nathanael J. Fast from USC and Larissa Tiedens from Stanford published a study on “Blame Contagion.”  In one experiment, half the participants read a newspaper article that said Gov. Schwarzenegger blamed special interest groups for a costly special election that failed.  The other half read an article in which the California governor took full responsibility for the failure.

Afterward, participants were asked to write about a personal failure and add who was responsible.  Those who read the article where the governor blamed special interest groups were more likely to blame others for their failure; those who read the second article tended to accept responsibility for their actions.


Every troubled organization knows about the “circular firing squad.”  Pointing fingers and assigning blame, Fast and Tiedens discovered, is especially prevalent among people who feel insecure.


This is why God’s grace is so beautiful.  We can have the courage to take responsibility for our failures, because when we do, God will forgive us.  Our sense of security is not based on our goodness, but on the knowledge that we are safe in God.

When we know we’re forgiven, there’s no longer a need to shift the blame.


The Baltimore Orioles needed a win to tie for first place in the AL East. But, a Toronto Blue Jay runner scored from third on a wild pitch, and the Orioles lost the game.

Afterward, the Orioles catcher Jamie Quirk shouldered the responsibility.  “A major-league catcher has to block that ball . . . I should have blocked it . . . I’m a professional catcher.”

And guess what?  By taking the blame for a wild pitch, Jamie Quirk didn’t receive scorn from Orioles fans.  He bravely protected his pitcher.  And won the admiration of all.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Stoned to Death With Popcorn

Story of the Day for Friday November 18, 2011

Stoned To Death With Popcorn

                 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will find mercy. 

                                                                                Proverbs 28:13

 A church in our neighborhood had a dirt parking lot.  One summer they paved it and it looked so much nicer.  No members tromping into church through mud puddles.

But a year later, the pavement was broken up in many places.  It looked awful.  Know why?  They paved over lots of weeds.  And when they started to grow, the pavement looked like it had suffered a heavy mortar attack.

Ever since the Garden, where Adam and Eve grabbed fig leaves and decided that hiding from God was a good plan, we have been trying to cover up our sins.  Maybe we like our sin far too much to let go of it.  Maybe we are ashamed of it and are afraid of the consequences if we are exposed.  Whatever the reason, from time to time we all get the dopey notion that we can hide things from God.

This is a just a friendly reminder: YOU CAN’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM GOD.  What were you thinking!


I am a master at the art of self-deception.  Here is the trick I use.  I throw God some “confession scraps” and see if He goes for them.  It’s really quite simple.  You confess in generalities.  Tell God you’re a sinner and you haven’t always been the person you should be.  (The implication to God is that, yeah, I’m not perfect – but, then again, neither is anybody else.)  If you confess to other people, don’t even call your behavior a sin.  Tell them you made a “mistake,” or an “error in judgment.”

A Roman Catholic priest once said that hearing confession from nuns is like “being stoned to death with popcorn.”  That’s what I try to do with God sometimes.  Throw out the small stuff and see if it works.

Well, it doesn’t work.


This proverb is trying to teach us that hiding our sins and paving them over is a boneheaded idea.  It’s like trying to deny you stole a beach ball by hiding it underwater.  it’s not easy and you must exercise constant effort to keep it down there.

The second half of this proverb is crucial: if you tell God your sins – all of them, and especially the ones that hurt a lot to admit – He will show you mercy.

This is the wonder of God.  Even when we know in our bones that he ought to destroy us, or at least make us suffer, He wants to give us mercy.  God is merciful, but we receive His mercy when we uncover ourselves to Him.   When we hide stuff, it’s like having something rotting in a dark, dank cellar.  Confession is telling God what smells so bad and letting Christ clean up the mess, and open the windows to let in the fresh air.


It’s a whole lot better than lurking behind trees with a handful of fig leaves.

                                                         (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)