Passages for June 7. Gen. 3:8-15, Psalm 130, 2 Cor. 4:13-5:1, Mark 3:20-35
Playing hide and seek with toddlers is hilarious. They hide in the middle of the room, crouching and covering their eyes. "If I can't see you, you can't see me" is the operating thought system.
It's not so hilarious when adults do it, and we do, albeit in more sophisticated ways and with a side helping of denial.
Adam and Eve think they can hide from God, but like children, they have a false belief system. When asked why they are hiding, there are excuses and misdirection. When nakedness is not an excuse, Adam throws Eve under the bus-blaming her for his choices. While there is some truth in what he says, he is trying desperately to move the attention off of his own guilt. Eve does the same thing. She blames the snake, trying to distract from her own bad choices with a little bit of truth about something else. These little bits of truth distract from the main point, the root problem, which is the taking of personal responsibility.
Verse 14, "because you have done this..." is something I wonder about. I don't think the biggest issue is the eating of the forbidden fruit. It is the lack of introspection and confession. Funny, you'd think people would eventually learn that no matter how much we complain, the only one we can really change is ourselves. (Ironically, that might also be the best way to change others around us too!)
I enjoyed reading Mark 3 in this context. "A house divided cannot stand." Again I think of children. When siblings are busy fighting and blaming each other, nothing gets resolved and the resentments build up. Sometimes these even stretch into adult relationships! And if we can't even handle our petty childish spats within a family, how can we ever do it as larger communities? What happens, when as adults, we get more sophisticated in how we fight, and less willing to let a parent, even God, step in? Jesus asks; "who are my mother and my brothers...whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." The key to healthy family here is each one taking personal responsibility to "do the will of God."
How would communities change if we all (or even a good percentage of us) dealt with ourselves, with root problems, instead of pointing at the "little truths" of others to distract from the things each of us is actually responsible for?
The other passages elaborate on the theme of needed forgiveness and responsibility. Psalm 130 gives up on the abilities of people, but acknowledges that forgiveness comes from God. 2 Corinthians asserts that the one who raised Jesus can raise us, which acknowledges where the power resides. "We do not lose heart" is a great encouragement. Ultimately, people are fallible. We all struggle with personal responsibility. We like to blame others. We need help. We need to hear the encouragement that God forgives us and our brothers and sisters. Our job is to listen to God.