Mercy v. Blame Shifting

We have mixed up mercy and blame shifting. Root problem: “The woman you gave me.” Seed solution: “Father forgive them.”

I noticed how Linda Classen emphasized ; “It is no one’s fault.” She says ADD/ADHD is not from television, food, or child rearing. Well, I’m not so sure about that. Okay, so maybe the disorder she is talking about is not. But out of bounds movement, impulsivity, and generally acting out of bounds might indeed be poor management. Irritability and not being able to pay attention may indeed be poor food. And so forth. But Mrs. Classen’s intention is to show mercy on the mothers who already have done all they can do and they have a child who needs professional help. Okay. I get that – mercy on the mothers. That is welcome.

On the other hand we often see a lot of blame shifting. People who should be taking responsibility for whatever. If we keep with the example we are using of attention problems, both students and parents may not take responsibility for proper nutrition, time management, exercise, or school comportment and diligence. But wow not taking responsibility has always been a human problem. Adam, when caught having disobeyed what God told him, said, “That woman you gave me, she…” So it was the woman’s fault (ever heard that before?) and God’s fault for giving him a woman. Hmm.

When we learn, maybe in motivational training, that we can get farther if we take responsibility instead of believing stories, we discover this is great news. If we don’t get ahead because of “the man,” “discrimination,” “she just doesn’t like me, ” or whatever outside thing, then we expect that not to change. But when we say, “I can change it” then we can. Responsibility is great news.

Well, until it is in the past. That is why forgiveness is even better news. So God’s mercy is wonderful.

And so, when we show mercy, we are participating in that divine wonderfulness.

But it seems to me that in our American culture, what started out as Christian charity, like the social gospel, the perfectability of man, and progressive education, got mixed up and faded into… just blame shifting.

And “genetics” is a favorite explanation — because it SOUNDS scientific. Well, yes, there are genetics, but often that word is brought up when there is no real scientific evidence for the claim being made. And even if there is a genetic cause underlying the problem, still that does not mean that a workaround, a coping, a substitution, or a miracle can not be expected.

Let’s try to be more clear between mercy and teaching others to resign themselves or worse, shift blame.

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