The Bible begins with the incredible story of creation. Yahweh speaks into existence all the beauty, complexity, and excellence of our extraordinary world. The pinnacle of accomplishment was the creation of a being in His own image. Formed by His own hands, this being received life from His own breath [Genesis 2:7]. In a wonderful act of tender care, Yahweh planted a beautiful garden in Eden, where the man would find everything he needed. The only condition attached to this paradise was that the fruit of just one of the trees was forbidden [Genesis 2:8-17]. Eventually, seduced by the serpent, Eve ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who also ate. The damaging effect was instantaneous and seriously scared, they hid from Yahweh when He came by in the evening. “Did you eat fruit from the tree that I commanded you not to eat?” Yahweh asked. “It was the woman…” stammered Adam. “It was the serpent…” faltered Eve [Genesis 3:11-13]. And right there, at the first problem, the blame game began!
Millenia later we humans, even those walking with Yahshua, are still tempted to engage in the blame game! It takes a good deal of courage to face up to, and take responsibility for, our own actions. We blame others for our sins and mistakes. We cite influences that have led us astray or tempted us into wrongdoing. We lay the blame on problems and difficulties of life or upbringing. We demand acceptance of our ‘nature’, refusing to believe we can [or need to] change. “It’s not my fault!” rings out today as loudly as ever it did in Eden.
I don’t wish to belittle or deny the effects of painful experiences past or present, but my heart cries out for all of us to acknowledge our own sin and shortcomings, and turn to the One Who can work miracles and give us the grace to live triumphantly. “There can be neither forgiveness nor amendment,” writes William Barclay, “until we admit our own fault and say that we are sorry.”