As human beings, we’re wired to connect. Yet we often get caught up in a blame game. We fight, point fingers, draw lines, and build walls—figurative and literal—to defend and protect ourselves, hurting each other in the process.
Those with privilege may blame those who face systemic oppression for taking their jobs or making their neighborhoods dangerous. The reality, however, is that many of our problems arise from our failure to create societies based on love that is just. If we’re wired to connect, then why can’t we just love each other?
Humans are adaptable, but not perfect. Evolution predisposes our emotional brain with a negativity bias since there is a survival cost to some mistakes.
As Christians, we believe that God’s Holy Spirit is still alive and working for good in all things (Romans 8:28). When we dare to move beyond church walls, we find God’s Spirit inviting us through education and faithful action to leave behind the blame game and learn to embody just love.
This message is an excerpt from “Beyond blame” by Bev Stratton in the July/August 2020 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Philipp Nicolai, who died in1608; Johann Heermann, who died in 1647; and Paul Gerhardt, who died in 1676; hymnwriters.