Owning Up

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. | Genesis 3:8-9

The serpent had promised Eve that they would be like God if they ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The first thing Adam and Eve did after eating from the tree was to make underwear out of leaves. The second thing they did was hide. The third thing they did was blame. Their first three acts were to cover up their nakedness, cover up their sin, and cover up their responsibility. I’m sure it didn’t take them very long to realize they had been duped – they were nothing like God.

Their first response to committing sin was to sew leaves together in order to cover themselves. Instead of addressing the sin, they only addressed their nakedness. It didn’t occur to them that their nakedness had not been an issue until they decided to disobey. Do you have a sin that is creating problems in other areas of your life? Are you trying to put Band-aids on the residual damage while ignoring the source of your problem? The fig leaves Adam and Eve sewed together died the second they were pulled from the branches. The leaves would have quickly crumbled and torn resulting in their nakedness being exposed again. Only God can cover your nakedness and restore the residual damage when you acknowledge your sin.

Adam and Eve’s second response was to hide when they heard God coming. God is omniscient. God is omnipresent. No one can hide from God. Instead of admitting to God that they had made a mistake, they tried to avoid Him altogether. Are you hiding from God now? If you are too busy to pray, can’t make time to read (study) your Bible, avoid talking to people at church or avoid church altogether, you may also be playing a pointless game of hide-and-seek. As a child of God, He loves you too much to allow you to continue crouching in some corner. If you don’t step out and ask Him for help, He will press you until you cry out for it.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. | Hebrews 12:11

Lastly, Adam and Eve determined to rationalize their sin by blaming others. Adam blamed God for giving him Eve as a wife, and Eve blamed the serpent. My oldest daughter used to get in trouble in kindergarten for talking to her friends when she was supposed to be quiet. Over and over again her excuse was, “But so-and-so talked to me first!” Finally, my response to her was, “You control your own tongue. They can talk to you, but they cannot force you to talk to them.” What things are technically wrong according to Scripture that you allow yourself to think, say, or do? How much longer will you tell yourself that you have no choice? It is true that God’s grace covers your sin, but you can’t count on God’s grace if you won’t call a sin, a sin.

Let’s go back to the leaves again. Adam and Eve disobeyed the Holy and Righteous God and thought their biggest problem was that they were naked. Before God removed them from the garden, He did something else for them:

Also, for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. | Genesis 2:21

Instead of clothes made from brittle fig leaves, God gave them clothes made from animal skin. What God made was more durable than what Adam and Eve had come up with, but there is more to it than that. The first death in the Bible is recorded in this verse. God sacrificed an animal as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin. It was not just to avoid Adam and Eve’s embarrassment but to resolve their sin problem:

…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. | Hebrews 9:22

This act of God pointed to the ultimate sacrifice that God had designed through His Son, Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve had no idea the effect their one sin had on their lives, their eternity, and the rest of humanity. Are you underestimating the effect of your sin on yourself, on others around you, and on your eternity?

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” | 1 Peter 2:24

Even though everyone sins, understand that you are a sinner by nature and by choice. There is only one remedy, which is free and readily available. Christ paid the price for our sin with His blood. It is yours to accept, if you want it.

If you have already been saved, are you still allowing sin to rule parts of your life? Sometimes as believers, we like to live as if God puts our good works and our sinful habits on a balance – as long as the good outweighs the bad we don’t worry about our own sin because we have already been saved. This is not biblical and we are still being deceived. Much of the New Testament is written to Christians to urge them to stop sinning and follow Christ beyond salvation. How often do you confess your sins before the Lord? How specific are you in your confession? Do you want God to show you what is wrong in your life so that He can make it right? Though we may think everything in our lives is fine the way it is, God has already assured us that there is much more joy to be found when we are obedient to His Word.

Dear Lord, help every reader (including myself) to see the sin You see. Open our eyes and help us to be willing to admit our shortcomings before You. Don’t leave us the way we are, blind to our own faults and enslaved to our earthly desires. You alone are worthy of pursuit. You alone are able to restore. Help us to live out what we know to be true. Amen.

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