Wrong Question

Wrong Question

07 August 2010

Today’s Reading: Zephaniah 1-3; John 9


1 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” 3 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. (John 9:1-3 MSG)

When Jesus’ disciples saw a blind beggar on the street, they immediately wanted to know whose fault it was – whether it was his or his parents’ sin – that caused him to be born blind. Think about it! We’re always looking for who is at fault when things go wrong! That’s how we tend to approach almost every problem people are experiencing, every setback. We ask, “Who’s to blame? Whose fault is it? Whose sin is being punished here?”

I can think of at least three reasons we tend to ask whose fault it is:
• To fix the blame on someone else. “It’s not my fault!”
• To learn lessons. “How can we avoid this consequence in the future?”
• To excuse non-involvement. “It’s not my problem. He brought it on himself!”

Jesus said “Who’s to blame?” is the wrong question. We should instead ask, “What can God do in this situation? How can I help? What can I do to be the heart, hands, and voice of God in the situation?”

What an amazing difference it would make if every time something goes wrong, every time we see a need, each time we encounter someone who is hurting, helpless, and hopeless, we would stop trying to figure out whose fault it is and instead bring God’s amazing power and grace to bear on the situation.

I’m determined to stop asking the Wrong Question! How about you?


Father, I’ll need some help with this. I’m so inclined to ask the wrong question when things go wrong or when there’s a problem or a failure. I’m inclined to want to fix the blame on somebody, even if it’s me. I’m inclined to want to know who did what wrong so I can learn from it. Help me to be a solution-finder and not a blame-fixer. Help me learn to see problems through the eyes of Jesus and ask “What can God do? How can I help?” Amen.

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