I listened – briefly – to a simplistic argument in which a Missouri politician attempts to assign blame for human trafficking.
Leaving aside the goofy specifics, I’m struck by the focus on fault-finding. It’s like we believe we’ve solved a problem by figuring out who’s at fault.
Blaming, finger-pointing, asking WHY? … all ways for you and me to avoid actually doing anything. As long as we play the blame-game we can avoid working toward a solution.
We’ve confused fault and responsibility. In the confusion we create two equally false narratives.
False narrative #1: If a problem is your fault, fixing it is your responsibility.
So we expect the arsonist to rebuild the house, or the abuser to repair his victim’s broken life? Do we imagine those who presided over the years of historical injustice will somehow heal the scars of racism?
Sometimes the guy who created the issue can resolve it. Often, though, finger-pointing is just another form of wallowing, whining, and moving forward toward a solution.
False narrative #2: If the problem isn’t your fault, you’re not responsible for fixing it.
So the addict rightly blames his parents who got him hooked on heroin as a child, but refuses to understand that, despite horrific circumstances, he’s responsible for his own recovery. Or we ignore someone who’s struggling because of circumstances she created.
Blame is overrated.
Sometimes it’s helpful to understand how it happened, why it occurred, who caused it. Mostly, though, figuring out who’s at fault does little to solve the problem. The real question for you and me is: What are we going to do about it?
It’s about accepting responsibility.
Poverty and injustice aren’t my fault, but Scripture doesn’t say God helps those who help themselves. I’m asked to Seek justice, feed the hungry, care for orphans…God offers the opportunity to use my gifts to step into problems I didn’t create.
Not my fault that I suffered a seizure, fell off a roof, and sustained a devastating spinal cord injury. Jesus says He’ll walk with me as I take responsibility for re-building a life I didn’t break.
Human trafficking isn’t my fault, or yours. Not our fault 36 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery. Not our fault a couple dozen kids at the HOME OF HOPE were born in a brothel.
But the people and the system who created those horrors won’t solve them. So I have to ask, and encourage you to ask: What’s our responsibility? What will we do about it?
At the FREEDOM TOUR, we ride bikes. Doesn’t solve the problem of human trafficking, just our way of using what we have to take responsibility for our piece.
Join us? http://frontrangefreedomtour.org/