(Reprint from July 2012)

Take the blame

Who threw the kickball on the roof?

“Not me!” “Not me!” “It was Noah!”

“Guys, Noah can’t even walk yet!”

Nobody wants to take the blame, if our children are any example. But last time I checked, none of us is perfect. Now, more than ever, we need people who are willing to take the blame. The world is full of politicians, actors, even religious leaders that refuse to take any accountability for their actions. But beyond that, YHVH wants a people that will answer for their actions and repent when they do wrong.

I was called goody goody when I was young. I was a very conscientious child and always tried to do the right thing. But it was also hard for me to admit when I was wrong. I remember my parents going out for the evening. I was supposed to put away my clean clothes and I completely forgot. I didn’t want to get in trouble so I hid them in the closet and put them away in the dark. This difficulty with taking the blame followed me into adulthood. Do you struggle with the same thing?

Scripture is very clear about covered sin.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
(Pro 28:13)

When we cover our sins, or even our mistakes, YHVH will not bless us. He calls us to a life of repentance, which means to confess our sin, and determine to never fall into that sin again. Will we? Probably, but we sure didn’t set out to.

But it hurts so much to admit I’m wrong. It’s embarrassing! I’m a good person. I do my best to keep Torah. I love my kids.

But you sinned against me. You didn’t set out to, but you did.

YHVH, please help me to take the blame, even when it’s hard, even when it makes me look bad.

And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations; Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the LORD, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance: And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance. And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.
(Num 15:22-31)

OK, I know that was a long passage, but it shows how serious YHVH is about our sin. This passage is all about what to do if we sin unintentionally. If one person makes a mistake, they are to offer a female goat one year old as an offering. This was very costly. That female goat would have been about ready to kid for the first time. She could potentially have twins to add to the herd, and she could be milked for several months, providing much needed nourishment for the family. She might be called Maggie like our goat, much more like a pet.

Sounds like a good reason to cover that mistake right? Well, sure, if we want to enter the realm of intentional sins. The phrase “cut off from his people” is rather haunting, don’t you think?

I hope you will join me in the desire to honestly take the blame. Have the courage to apologize to your spouse, to your kids. Stop blaming everyone else when you at least share part of the blame. Live your life on purpose, trying to avoid those mistakes in the first place. I’ll be thinking of Maggie.

Verses to study

For more tips to raise your children intentionally with Torah as the foundation, read The Children’s Ketubah Project.

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