The one person standing between you and a jolly Christmas could be in the mirror. Clyde and his wife, June, had been married for many years when Clyde began to notice June’s hearing was fading. He didn’t want to talk with her directly about it at first, so he shared the problem with his family doctor. The doctor told him to stand 40 feet away and call June to see if she would respond. Then he was to get closer and closer, until she was finally able to hear his voice.

When Clyde arrived home, he thought he would try the test on June. Sitting in his den, he called to her in the kitchen, “What’s for dinner, Honey?” There was no response.

Clyde took a few steps closer and called June again. Silence. This continued until he was right behind her in the kitchen as he asked the question. Suddenly, June whirled around with a knife in her hand and said, “For the fifth time, it’s spaghetti with meatballs!” Clyde discovered he was the one with the problem.

Have you ever accused someone of something, only to find you were at fault? We’ve all done it from time to time. The key to moving forward is to acknowledge our faults. The problem is, instead of doing this, we often shift the blame. One Christian counselor warns us to consider the consequences of blame-shifting:

  • The guilty person escapes taking responsibility, thus never changing their behavior;
  • With behavior never changing, old patterns continue;
  • Shifting the blame, combined with old, dysfunctional patterns, creates chaos, altering the conversation from the guilty person’s actions onto the innocent party;
  • The innocent party feels false guilt from the shifting of responsibility;
  • True repentance does not occur.

“. . . Shifting the blame is, at its deepest level, an act of immaturity and creates frustration, anger, and confusion.”

Could you be the reason why you lack peace and joy this Christmas season? Search your heart. Moreover, ask God to search your heart for sins you need to confess to Him. There may even be things you need to make right with a friend or family member. Don’t put it off. Joy begins with Christ and ends with you. Let nothing stand in your way.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.