Finger Pointing and the Blame Game
“Did you eat from the tree that I had commanded you not to eat from? Then the man replied, “The woman You gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.” So the LORD God asked the woman, “What is this you have done?”— Genesis 3:11–13
As an English teacher, I instruct my students to look for symbols in literature. As a basketball coach, I often use symbols from literature to teach my players, such as in Genesis 3:11 where God asks Adam and Eve if they have eaten the forbidden fruit. Instead of telling the truth and asking for forgiveness, Adam blamed both God and Eve. When God asked Eve the same question, she blamed the snake. Since then, mankind has been pointing fingers and playing the blame game.
Adam and Eve refused to take responsibility for their sin and placed the blame on someone else. They were not working as a team. The same holds true for athletics. When a team plays poorly, frustration often sets in.Instead of each player looking at what he can do to improve the situation, he looks for someone to blame. At that point, the team begins to break down.
Unfortunately, many players learn this behavior from how their coaches interact with officials. Anyone who has been around athletics for any length of time has heard coaches complaining about the referees and blaming them for a loss. Coaches have to remember that their players watch what they say and do.
Instead of falling into the destructive blame game, coaches and players need to slow down and look within themselves to ensure they are not the ones at fault. After all, it was Adam’s fault that Eve ate the forbidden fruit. God had specifically instructed him that it was forbidden, and as the captain of the team, it was Adam’s responsibility to make sure the rest of the team understood.
1. How should a coach handle a situation where teammates are blaming one another for mistakes or bad plays?
2. How does humility play a part in this situation?
Extra Reading: Exodus 32:1–24; Matthew 27:24
Heavenly Father, please help me avoid finger pointing when the going gets tough. Give me the fortitude to admit my mistakes and accept responsibility for my actions. Amen.