“I didn’t mean to,” is usually an honest statement delivered after the extent of the damage, caused by your action, is being faced. Don’t expect it to get you much sympathy – in fact it might have the opposite effect. But we do want to distance ourselves from the harm we have done.
Blaming somebody else is just as common a strategy. Not blaming them for doing it, but saying something like “Well if you hadn’t… …then I wouldn’t have.” And we can argue quite forcibly that that is the case. We are trying to dig ourselves out of a hole. There must be a way!
Jesus intervention in history changes the possibilities – indeed draws us inevitably to a new reality.
“I will take the blame,” is what the cross says, in all its cruelty inflicted upon the willing but innocent victim.
That is hard to receive, because receiving it changes us, as it is meant to. Who would have thought the way out of the hole was to stop and reach up? And it is the resurrected Jesus who takes our hand.
“I’ve taken the blame – receive life. Now go and live it, so others will reach for the same.”
We are called to live lives that do damage, caused by our actions. Lives that do damage to death. Lives that yield life. And in those instances, we can say without fear of contradiction, “I intended to, but it was Jesus that made me do it.”