Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 11, 2019
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12-13
I remember as a 52 year-old man struggling with the reality of having early stage prostate cancer. “Lord how could you allow this to happen to me? I am doing your work. I don’t have time for the distraction of this disease”. My physical pain revealed my unhealthy heart of fear, not faith, and of blame instead of taking responsibility in my sickness. Lamenting to the Lord was my reaction for being in a circumstance out of my control, but I soon learned it was out of my desperation that God wanted me to grow in my dependency on Him. Pain led to intimate prayers.
Adam and Eve in a perfect environment made an imperfect decision. Out of their shame and the fear of their sin against God, they naively tried to shift their sinful actions to someone else. Adam blamed Eve, and even more brazenly God, “The woman you put here with me“. And Eve, in Flip Wilson fashion declared her version of “The devil made me do it”. Because of their unwillingness to take responsibility for their actions, each one suffered a unique consequence for their sin. Adam would suffer from the pain of toil and Eve the pain of childbirth. The long term result of blame is greater pain, compared to the lesser pain of taking responsibility.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:1-4).
Are you ashamed of an act you know was unwise, even wrong in the moment? A harsh word, a selfish taking of another’s deserved opportunity or an action done in the darkness of deception, but now has come to light? Sin concealed will one day be revealed—certainly at the judgment seat of Christ. The sooner a confession the better—delay makes worse the ultimate discovery. There will be consequences, but a contrite heart receives forgiveness and the grace to grow.
Kneel before God a sinner in need of a Savior, then stand a saint cleansed and made whole. Leave your shame at the feet of Jesus and claim Christ’s identity in your heart. Take responsibility instead of assigning blame by asking forgiveness from the one you offended, “I’m so sorry for my insensitive remarks. I’m sure I made you feel dismissed and disrespected; will you forgive me?” Hurting hearts often need space and grace to recover and enjoy relational restoration. Be patient and prayerful. Consequences may linger longer so lean into the Lord’s love and peace.
“If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible” (Leviticus 5:17).
Heavenly Father, my heart is tender and in need of your gentle touch, in Jesus’ name, amen.
What hurtful action do I need to take responsibility for?
The long term result of blame is greater pain, compared to the lesser pain of taking taking responsibility. #WisdomHunters #responsibility
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