Blaming the Victim

Last week I shared our misadventure with porch pirates (you can read about that here: Pirated). Now for the rest of the story.

Yes, someone stole from us. Yes, what they did was wrong. Yes, they are the criminal and are to blame for their actions. But they are not the only ones who deserve blame. I confess, that I played a role in the event.

I played a role . . .

Three days before the porch pirate incident, I received a text from a company that my package had been shipped and would arrive in the next 2-3 days. That placed delivery around Friday that week. Friday came and went without a package or notification of delivery. Since it did not come Friday. I should have known this package would arrive on Saturday. I knew we were all going to be out of town for the day. I should have alerted a neighbor to watch for my package. I should have had a plant on the porch so a delivery person could place the package behind it. I knew there had been suspicious activity in the neighborhoods around our and in ours, so I should have already had a security camera in place. I had looked at them, pick one out, but being somewhat money conscious I put off purchasing one.

There is also the notification we received while we were away that a package had been delivered. We have good neighbors some of whom are members of the same church. We know they would have gladly picked up our deliveries and held them until we got home or until the next day. If only we had called.

I know that society says “don’t blame the victim.” When our local police and sheriff department remind people to lock their car doors when there are a string of thefts of valuable from unlocked cars, people complain that the police are blaming the victims and not doing enough to catch the criminal element. When someone says something about how nothing good happening at a bar at 1:00 A.M. after a shooting, brawl, car accident involving someone intoxicated at that hour, or a young lady being sexually assaulted they are accused of blaming the victim.

I guess I am guilty. I partially blame myself for my being robbed. If I left my car or truck unlocked with valuable inside, I think I am partly to blame. If I am leaving a bar at 1:00 A.M. and am beat up (since I don’t go to bars and do not drink tis is not likely), I share in the blame. If I put myself into a situation or do not take precautions, I made a mistake that lead me to victim status. I could have prevented being a victim. I know that is not always the case, but in some instances you and I can avoid situations that lead to our victimization.

Now to make application to our Journey of Faith.

  • God warns Cain, ” . . . sin lies crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Gen 4:7)
  • Jesus warns Peter, ” . . . behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” (Luk 22:31-32)
  • James says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (Jas 4:7)
  • Peter warns us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith . . . ” (1Pe 5:8-9)
  • Paul tells us, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to overcome it.” (1Co 10:13)

I hear people say. I can’t help myself. This is just who I am and God love me for me. In my high school years, The Human League sang, “I’m only human, flesh and blood, a man.” The song was an excuse for sexual unfaithfulness in a relationship. In contrast the truth of the scriptures above is that we can fight against sin in our lives, we can be vigilant, resist the devil, we can find the way out. We are to blame for our sinful behavior.

The good news is that when we fail, and I have failed to live up to God’s standard, that the righteousness of Christ can be applied to our lives when we have put on Christ. (2Co 5:21; Gal 3:26-27).

– Scott

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