"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13
Blaming our failures on others or on unlucky circumstances can be tempting when we mess up or when things just do not go our way. While it is certainly true that other people or unfavorable situations can contribute to mistakes or personal failures, you should refrain from shifting the blame away from yourself when you truly do have some culpability in the matter. Here are three reasons why it is important to take responsibility and own up to your actions:
1) It is asked of us by God
Proverbs 28:13 provides Christians with a succinct summary for why taking responsibility is crucial for spiritual wellness:
"Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy."
Rather than making you feel guilt and shame for things you have done in the past, this Bible quote should give you with the inspiration and encouragement you need to be better and work hard to do as God asks of you. As these words of encouragement show us, concealing your sins and your faults will do you no good in the long run, while owning up to them instead will help you find mercy in God.
2) It will help you change for the better
Personal growth can be next to impossible if you ignore your sins and always pretend that your mistakes are somebody else's fault. Admitting to yourself that you have some personal failings is the only surefire path towards changing them. This can be a long, difficult, and sometimes even embarrassing process, but it is an important one to undergo. Throughout it you cannot forget to love yourself and go easy on yourself. You are not a bad person just because you have flaws. You are actually a pretty good person for noticing that you have them and wanting to work on them.
3) It will help you make a better impression on others
Nobody likes to be around someone who's always being negative and always looking to blame others for their own screw-ups. People who cannot take responsibility for their own actions often make for poor company. Learning to own up to your own mistakes, even if you make a lot of them, will help you come off as more trustworthy, more likeable, and as an all-around more positive person. Others will know that they will be able to count on you whenever something goes wrong.
Your mistakes do not define you, but how you react to them certainly does. For the sake of God, for the sake of your own personal growth, and for the sake of those around you, you should spend less time looking for scapegoats and more time looking for ways to learn from and fix your mistakes. We are all human, after all, and we will mess up from time to time. God knows that, and the people who really matter in your life know that as well. Its okay to make a mistake, but it's not okay to pretend that you did not.