How often have we heard those words? That answer. Countless times. You may have been the one asking the question of one of your children, students, or teammates. Even a spouse could have said it! If you’re honest, if I’m honest, you and I have said it as well.
It’s the answer to a question about something that isn’t in the right place or something that’s missing or something that is damaged or broken. It’s the answer as well for something that has been forgotten, left undone, done in the wrong way at the wrong time.
One of my favorite recent questions where that answer was used is:
“Who put the jar of pickles in the freezer?”
Yes, it had been a crazy day when that happened, but even so, some things don’t have an explanation.
We humans have been using that answer since the Garden of Eden. When asked about a responsibility that we have been given, not done or done differently than asked, we really prefer to assign the mistake to someone or something else. It is built into our DNA after that fruit-eating afternoon in Eden.
We don’t like to admit we failed, goofed up, forgot, let someone down, or made the wrong choice about almost anything. How little we understood that it wasn’t the fruit’s fault. (Ask my children and grandchildren about the time I said, “It wasn’t the doggone plum’s fault!”)
It wasn’t really the serpent’s fault back in the Garden either. Sure, he was guilty of tempting Adam and Eve, but he didn’t make them eat that delicious looking fruit. They chose! Ever since then, we have been trying to squirm out of owning the truth that we have made the choice (or failed to make the choice) that brings that answer to our lips (“It wasn’t me!”). At the core of us, we hate our fallibility so we try to deny or hide it.
Many of the times we use that answer it is really for something small, almost insignificant, and occasionally we don’t even recall what we were asked to do or that we absentmindedly did or forgot.
It’s obvious we are not so unlike our original parents, Adam and Eve. It is also clear none of us are so much different than the original disciples. Perhaps it isn’t just about owning our mistakes, but fearing we will lose love when we let someone down or disappoint them. Our answer then is to dodge, excuse, or lie. Isn’t that what caused Adam and Eve to try to hide?
When Morpheus gives Neo a choice between the red pill and the blue pill in “The Matrix”, Neo has the choice to see how far the rabbit hole goes or to stay just as he is. He cannot really blame his choice on someone else. It is his. Morpheus makes that clear and so does the Oracle later.
God gave us the gift of choice. The gift seems to be a mixed bag for us. We love it, but we also often want to run from making a choice that might be hard. We also may run from accepting the responsibility for a choice we did or did not make.
Whatever choice we make, God honors that choice.
Our choices lead us forward day-by-day. They both shape and show our character. God wants us to choose Him, choose His love, His grace, His forgiveness, and more, but He doesn’t demand it.
Love doesn’t come to anyone when it is demanded.
He has already chosen us. Our response to that choice is our choice to make. If we don’t choose Him the first time He calls us, He will honor that choice but also try again to reach us at another time and place. He doesn’t want us to be separated from Him, but if we don’t ever choose Him then at some point that open door to Him will close.
I so often hear that it isn’t fair that God would judge those who have not accepted Him if He is so loving. The question is sometimes asked why He would allow any to perish. Such a question reflects a distortion of reality. By failing to choose the Lord and accept Him, we really judge ourselves because the standard has already been set. We will not be able to say, “It wasn’t me.”
The choice to not choose Him results in us being responsible for the judgment that then comes. We made the choice. It was us.
15 thoughts on ““It Wasn’t Me!””
Oh yes, thinking back – I was guilty of saying “It wasn’t me” My guilty look and red face always told on me. Choices are so important in life. Yes, I choose Life and to Christ in Me is the life I now live as I walk in the Spirit. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at Tell me a Story – – and welcome to our party.
Always love joining your party and your warm hospitality, Hazel! It seems for most of us it takes a bit to realize we aren’t fooling anyone with the excuse we offer. Blessings on this beautiful October day!
Just the other day as I opened the dishwasher and needed to reorganize it (again) to fit the last of the dishes in it, I noticed an upside down cup. Upon closer examination, it was filled with MOLD! Yuck! And we have just gone through a huge toxic mold situation in our home so I am on high mold alert right now! The dishwasher had just been unloaded 2 days before so there had been no potential for mold to grow in that short of time. SOMEONE had left a cup in their room and jammed it in the dishwasher to hide the evidence! Only, they should have rinsed it first! Well … 3 kids and 3 “It wasn’t me’s!” Ahhhh …. what’s a Mama to do? 🙂
I so get you with this, Lori! That phrase echoes a lot around a home with kids in it! The line about the pickles in the freezer was one of my grandchildren who will remain nameless!! Hoping your October day has been stunningly beautiful!!
I am easy to be picky, when something isn’t done right, or I feel somthing isn’t done right and I have to fix it when it could have been done right in the first place. I am very humbled though, and guilty when it turns out I am at fault. We get to choose, and I always aim to choose the right way for everyone, including me. Alas, most of the time, I leave myself til last…
I can identify with all that, Alicia. The challenge we face is knowing when it is us and when it isn’t. Too many experiences in our lives add up to sometimes making it either too easy to say it wasn’t us or too easy to always say it was us!! Thankfully, the Lord is patient to grow us in grace to help us discern what the truth is if we seek Him.
“I didn’t do it.” Yep, that’s what I’ve been known to say on many occasions as well. 🙁 But even if I didn’t do “it” that time, I did something another time. We are guilty. We can’t escape that. So grateful for God’s grace when we confess! Thanks for this, Pam.
Hi Pam! I really understand your statement about us hating our fallibility. That makes so much sense to me. I don’t like to be wrong myself!
The gift of choice is such a two edged sword sometimes. Such freedom! But such an opportunity to mess up too…I like that God respects our choices, and never tires of luring us back if we don’t make the best one.
Hope you had a great weekend!
Thanks, Ceil! We were traveling and it was a long drive, but good!!
Such a powerful reminder that we get to choose. Day in and day out. Some decisions are distinctly spiritual … others, less so.
This is a huge gift given to us, Pam.
May we choose well …
Thanks, Linda! It is a huge gift and you’re so right…may we choose well!
This is a WONDERFUL explanation of the relationship between God’s choice of us (chosen in Christ from the beginning of the world) and our weight of our decision to chose or not chose Him back. There is nothing we could have done to come to Him if had not made the first move and yet He will not force us to come!
Thanks so much, Helene! Blessings on this October morning!
Pam, I’m doing Write31Days in the gospel of John and I realized something yesterday when it became epiphany and a light bulb moment.
In the end at the Judgment – it is THE WORD that judges.
Our text book is clearly written.
Our choices are clearly presented.
It is The Word that will declare us accepted or not.
Heaven or eternal separation from God (The Word)
Great post. I love posts that make one think and ponder.
Thanks for the confirmation, Susan! I like those kinds of posts as well and seek the Lord to help me create them! Hope you did not experience any problems during the hurricane. Trusting the mountains protected you even as He does!!