Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken
My wonderful wife has gotten us started back to reading the Bible together. This morning’s passage was Genesis 3 – The Fall, which I’ve read many times, but this is what struck me this time.
English Standard Version (ESV)
10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Immediately after Adam and Eve sin they go on to sin again, but notice what they do.
God asks Adam a yes or no question, but instead of just answering it, Adam gives an excuse and actually blames God, “the woman you gave to be with me”. Adam is saying, “It’s your fault, God.” Then he blames Eve for giving him the fruit. Only last does he admit any role in the sin.
Then God questions Eve and she does the same thing. It’s the serpent’s fault, not mine, she says.
I was in a college sociology class once and the instructor asked a question regarding how we evaluate ourselves, something like “Are we generally too easy on ourselves or too hard?”
I was the only one who answered that we were too easy. My answer was dismissed and the rest of the class agreed with the instructor that we are too hard on ourselves.
When we know we’re at fault our first instinct is to shift the focus and blame to others and avoid taking responsibility. This is not a new sin, but as we see here goes back to the first two people.
As a Christian, there is a difference between beating yourself up over past sins that you have repented of, and that God tells us He remembers no more, and having a healthy skepticism of our motives and our still sinful heart.
We sin the same way Adam and Eve did.
We should always have a healthy suspicion of ourselves on this side of glory, and always be on the lookout for whether we are shifting blame and rationalizing, rather than looking at our own sinfulness.