Blaming God for Our Problems?

Yael Eckstein  |  December 3, 2021

Black and white image of a man holding his head in his hands.

A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
    yet their heart rages against the LORD.
— Proverbs 19:3

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

Have you ever had the following experience? You try to open a door to your house or car, but the key just won’t turn. You might be in a rush or your hands are full of groceries, and you start to get frustrated. You jam the key in further, but the door just won’t open. You become so angry and annoyed that you try to open the door in all sorts of foolish ways.

If you had just stayed calm and rational, you might have realized that you simply had the wrong key!

Have you ever had a day like this when absolutely nothing went right and you looked to God and said, “Why are you doing this to me?” I sometimes imagine God, up there in heaven, looking down at us in moments like this and responding, “Me?! Am I the one who chose the wrong key?”

While a life of faith means that we believe that everything is from God, sometimes people use their faith as a way of avoiding responsibility. We’ve all met people who have made destructive choices and then blame God for their problems. After all, if everything in life is controlled by God, none of their problems are their own fault. It’s all God’s doing. Right?

Blaming God for Our Problems

Proverbs warns us against the destructive impulse to blame God for the problems caused by our folly. When the heart “rages against the LORD,” the real answer is to take a deep breath and remember that God loves us and wants only the best for us. And He wants us to take responsibility. He wants us to grow and learn from our mistakes.

Blaming God for our problems is not faith. Faith in a God who is all-powerful doesn’t mean that we are not responsible for the choices that we make, for our own carelessness.

We see this in the story of the very first sin. After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, God confronted Adam with what he had done. Instead of admitting his mistake, Adam blamed God: “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’” (Genesis 3:12).

Yes, God is in full control of our lives, but at the same time He gave us freedom of choice. And sometimes our choices are mistaken. Faith doesn’t mean we blame God. It means that we turn to Him for the strength to make our lives whole again.

Your Turn:

Pray to God for strength to confront whatever you are struggling with today