Stop Blaming Yourself for Every Bad Thing that Happens to You
Many Christians have been taught that they are exempt from all the evil in the world or that they can be through the spiritual coverage they have received from the Lord and their church. They are, therefore, inconsolable when something bad happens to them because they feel it is their fault given the spiritual coverage they have.
Let me illustrate. A brother is sick and feels ashamed and culpable believing if he had enough faith, he would never have become sick. A sister is involved in an accident and thinks she probably didn’t pray enough or she would have escaped it. A brother is scammed or betrayed by a trusted friend and he thinks he was not smart or discerning enough, that was why he suffered that fate. Brethren who lose loved ones don’t allow themselves to heal through a proper grieving process because they think that losing someone is somehow an indictment of themselves.
Even old people are caught up in this confusion, refusing to accept that the natural decline that comes with ageing and thinking their loss of physical vigour is somehow their fault.
While I acknowledge that we can be directly or indirectly responsible for our problems, but is that the case in every situation? The answer is clearly, “No!”
There are times when bad things happen regardless of our best efforts to avoid them. There are even occasions when the bad things have been programmed by God as part of our journey with Him to mould our character, make us more dependent on Him and help us serve Him better.
Search your Bible and you will see many examples of this. Apostle Paul had a chronic eye disease (Galatians 4:13-15) , he encountered lots of danger in his travels and he was betrayed or hurt by brethren time and again. Paul details his ordeals in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. You probably aren’t smarter, don’t pray harder or have more faith than Paul.
If you go further back in the Scriptures, you will see that the Lord Jesus suffered hunger like other human beings. He was also beaten, humiliated and crucified. David was a fugitive for over a decade; Elisha the prophet was sick in his old age; Joseph was sold as a slave and imprisoned for many years; Isaac’s eyes were dim in his later days and Jacob buried his beloved wife, Rachel, on the way home from Haran.
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us that when he prayed repeatedly about his eyes, God told Him His strength is made perfect in weakness (verses 8 & 9). That means God wanted Paul to be ever-conscious that the power he displayed was God’s and He wanted His glory to fully manifest in Paul’s ministry without any fleshly pride involved. Paul explained it thus: “in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh” – (verse7).
In the case of the Lord Jesus, He suffered to understand our plight or “empathize with our weaknesses” as Hebrew 4:15 puts it and deliver us from eternal damnation.
Pray, be vigilant and don’t pursue anything foolish but when you are caught in a web of trouble, open yourself to God’s comfort and encouragement, rather than engaging in endless self-flagellation.
Even if you did something wrong, accept God’s forgiveness and allow Him to help you through the problem.
It is hard enough to cope with the pain and trauma of sickness or misfortune without you compounding the situation by torturing yourself with feelings of shame and guilt.
The mark of a true Christian is not the complete absence of trouble or tragedy, it is how you reflect Christ’s character in your everyday life – His mercy, compassion, grace, meekness, etc. The hard knocks you experience help to soften you so that you’re not arrogant and dismissive of other people’s conditions but you can truly say, “I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there myself.”
Christianity is not a competition to see who has a record of no sickness, no accidents, no foolish mistakes. It is a walk with Christ where we live in humble obedience to Him and receive His grace to persevere and triumph, if He wills, regardless of what we face.
To see a fuller discussion of the theme of this post for Christians with health challenges, see