Rising above the blame culture
A79-year-old American woman bought a cup of coffee from a McDonald’s drive-through in 1992 but she spilled it on her lap. She sued McDonald’s for negligence because she claimed the coffee was too hot to be safe. The jury awarded her $160,000 in compensatory damages.
An Israeli woman sued a TV station for wrongly predicting the weather. The station said there would be good weather but it rained. The woman claimed that the forecast caused her to dress inappropriately – resulting in her catching flu, missing a week off work, and spending money on medication. She further claimed that the whole incident caused her stress. She sued for $1,000 and won.
It’s not my fault, so it must be yours! We live in a blame culture – a society that has to have a scapegoat. Someone is to blame as long as it’s not me. As long as it’s not my fault, then I can claim damages.
We have seen some strange decisions from our legal system over the years and we are tempted to take a rather cynical attitude. The truth is that justice usually does prevail in our courtrooms. Unfortunately, those cases are seldom regarded as newsworthy. Even when we hear of injustices, we need to remember that all accounts are not settled in this lifetime. In a world that often seems out of control, we need to be constantly reminded that God is in control, and justice will one day prevail.
The wonderful thing is that if we have done wrong we don’t need to carry that burden on our shoulders for ever. This is the amazing thing about the Easter story that we have just celebrated. Jesus died and rose again so that we might have true forgiveness!