No, I’m not kidding. There is actually a nationally recognized holiday called “National Blame Someone Else Day.” It takes place on the first Friday the 13th of each year. The next one will take place on Friday September 13, 2019. You’ve got plenty of time to think of a way to blame someone else for something that’s gone wrong in your life!

The holiday was invented by Anne Moeller of Clio, Michigan, in 1982. On a particularly bad day, her alarm clock didn’t go off and it started a day-long series of events that didn’t go in her favor. The day? Friday the 13th. And with that, National Blame Someone Else Day was born.

It seems like we don’t need a special holiday to blame someone else for bad things that happen to us. We have that down pat. We are pretty good at pointing fingers of blame at others.

The Blame Game

Perhaps your middle school and high school days were similar to mine. Challenging. Awkward. Days spent trying to fit in.

I decided to try out for the basketball team in 8th grade. I was tall, lanky, and a little uncoordinated. Basketball probably wasn’t the right game for me, but I attempted it anyway. I figured that if I became an athlete, I’d become part of the “in” crowd. I practiced dribbling and shooting the ball at home, but still struggled to master the skills I needed to qualify for the team. When the day came for tryouts, I showed up anyway.

When I went to the school’s basketball tryouts, I didn’t fare too well. I quickly realized that many other boys had much better basketball handling skills than I did. They literally ran circles around me. It was no surprise that my name was absent from the list of boys who made the team when the coach posted it on the glass window of his office. Sigh.

  • I could have blamed my dad for not playing more basketball with me in our driveway.
  • I could have blamed all the other boys who beat me and won positions on the team.
  • I could have blamed the coaches for not appreciating my mad basketball skills.
  • I could have blamed God who gave me long arms, long legs, and little coordination.

Or, I could simply have pointed a finger at myself. But who among us likes to point a finger at themselves? Hardly anyone does. We learn to blame others rather than accept responsibility for our actions.

We Come by it Honestly

Perhaps you have been blamed for something: A failed marriage. A job loss. An automobile accident. A misunderstanding between you and a friend. It doesn’t feel good to be the recipient of blame. In fact, our first response may be to deflect the blame and point to someone or something else.

We’re not the first to do this. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit, the first “Blame Someone Else Day” was born. When confronted by God, Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam also blamed God. The fingers were flying. The urge to blame is to deflect it onto someone else. (See Gen. 3.) It’s all a part of the package we call a sin nature.

Wouldn’t it be great if we learned to say things like, “That’s my bad” or “Forgive me, that’s my fault.” If we did, we’d have no need for a National Blame Someone Else Day.

For a printable version: click here.

This post supports the study “Why Are We in This Mess?” in Bible Studies for Life.