Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Photo by Dominik Reipka

When we are in conflicts, all of us have the tendency at times to put the blame on someone else. We play the victim and cry out, “He made me do it!” It seems easier to look at others as the cause of our problems then to look at the mirror at ourselves.
A piece of advice that was given to me in dealing with this problem is to ask myself and others a question: “How have I contributed to this?”
All of us can admit that we contributed to something in the conflict. Maybe only a small part but a small part nevertheless.
I have found this question to be very helpful in allowing conflicting parties to begin a conversation. Both can share their part in the conflict. Eventually, things become more realistic and healing can happen.
As I read the opening chapter of Nehemiah and his prayer before God in 1:5-11, I realize he asked a similar question. He heard news about the plight of Jerusalem. It would be easy to put the blame on the people there or someone else. Instead, he asked the question: “How did I contribute to this problem?”
Nehemiah cries out to God in 1:6, “Even I and my Father’s house have sinned.” Nehemiah doesn’t put all the blame on others. He recognizes his part before God. His sin contributed to the mess and He brings it before God in confession. He wasn’t the only one to blame but he’s admitting his part.
I believe this heartfelt confession of his own sin and the people’s sins allowed God to begin His work. God understood all of the problems before. Now He could work at the healing process of forgiveness.
All of us contribute to the conflicts we are in. All of us have sinned. Admitting our role in the problem allows the conversation to move forward.

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