As we hear the “creation story” we will often hear comments about “original sin”. We are reminded of Adam and Eve taking the forbidden fruit with complete disregard for God’s instruction. That implies to many of us that there are things in life that are simply forbidden, and therefore we are to avoid them or “pay the price”. Life becomes more about what we can’t do and little about what we can! We are relegated to live by a list of “do’s and don’ts”. While God does point out destructive behavior that is against His blessed will for our lives, He does not stand over us with a checklist and a big stick. Closer consideration of the creation story will bring an order to our lives.
Rather than the sterile fact of what isn’t allowed by God, the real issue of the Fall is my separation from God! No longer having the intimacy of fellowship with my Heavenly Father is the core reason for all of the dysfunctional behavior of man! In Genesis we see Adam hiding from the very God with whom he craves fellowship! This hiding stems from the shame that now controls him!
When God asked Adam, “Where are you?”
Adam’s reply is, “I was hiding because I am naked.”
God then says, “Who told you that you were naked?” As if to say, “I didn’t.”
This separation from God produces shame and the result of this shame is further separation! Hiding from God.
We live in a time of ultimate shame! At times we feel stupid, inadequate, dirty and unworthy. Why would God pay any attention to me and my situation? Because of these feelings we neutralize the moving of God in our lives. We feel we are simply too much trouble to God and a very bad investment of His time and effort. It is strange that we feel this way since God is infinite. He doesn’t have to budget His efforts because His love is endless!
The next thought that we mistakenly embrace is believing that if we behave correctly, He will notice us. If we do better He may think we are worthy of His notice. This demands a performance on our part which eventually wears us out or perverts our relationship with Him.
All of this is prevented when we realize original blessing rather than original sin. John says that God is love. That’s Who He is, not what He does! Since love is Who He is, everything He does stems from Who He is! Love! I cannot do anything to increase His love for me! I cannot be bad enough to cause Him to love me less. I do not have to hide from Him! I do not have to perform for Him! I am free to receive His love and be in fellowship with Him. I am safe to admit my brokenness! I am safe to acknowledge my inadequacies! I am not naked anymore because I am clothed in His righteousness! I am free!
Jimmy has been a Christian longer that he has been an adult. He devotes most of his time to family, church, community, and prayer with a few coffee breaks in between.