Tuesday, August 12, 2014

what sin does to the heart

But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

Genesis 3:9-10

When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God's command, the immediate effects of sin began to change their lives for the worse. Their perspectives on self, on each other, and on God were each twisted individually by sin. It isn't pretty to see.

Adam's answer to the God from Whom he could not hide is telling. Sin brought fear -- "I was afraid" -- into his life. He knew he had wronged God. And for the first time fear gripped a person's heart. It is still attending our wrong choices. I know I feel it when I have sinned.

But Adam also experienced an uncomfortable vulnerability. He was uneasy at being "uncovered" and felt that somehow being naked was not the right way. Immediately both Adam and Eve are unsure of themselves and attempt to cover their bodies as they experience the way that sin focuses in on glaring differences in one another.

There is also shame attending this moment. Shame drove them to try to hide from an all-knowing God. Shame drove them to attempt to build fig leaf underwear. Shame will make us miss the reality of our problems (it wasn't their nakedness that was a problem) and run from the solution (they were trying to hide from their Maker and their only friend).

The final effect of their disobedience was blame. When confronted by his sin by God, Adam blamed God (the woman you gave me) and when Eve was confronted she blamed the serpent. Sin wants to see someone else as more "wrong" than I am. Self-justifying a sin in this way is as old as the earliest moments of the Fall of humanity in the Garden. We can't find forgiveness without God's intervening grace because sin locks us down in fear, helplessness, shame, and blame.

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