Sin Destroys Our Sense of Responsibility
Sin destroys our innocence and relationships. And sin also destroys our sense of responsibility. In the garden, our character became tarnished. In the Garden of Eden narrative, God confronts Adam and Eve with their sin. Their response back to God is indicative of the human experience throughout time. Adam responded to God by saying, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it” (v. 12). Eve responded by saying, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (v. 13). Both Adam and Eve acknowledged eating the apple. Both said “and I ate.” However, this admission only took place after they had blamed someone else. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent.
We can see this behavior all around us. We see it in our children who say, “He did it first!” We see it in our young adults who say, “She made me do it,” and we call it peer pressure. We see it in adults, some who even leave the fellowship of believers because of something someone said or something someone did. It is always someone else’s fault. There is a way out of this trap. 1 John 1:9 says plainly and clearly, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If we confess OUR sins. Funny how that works; it is always easier to confess the sins of others. It’s been that way since the garden.
I recently read this definition of shame, which fits into our study today:
Shame is a consequence of sin. Feelings of guilt and shame are subjective acknowledgments of an objective spiritual reality. Guilt is judicial in character; shame is relational. Though related to guilt, shame emphasizes sin’s effect on self-identity. Sinful human beings are traumatized before a holy God, exposed for failure to live up to God’s glorious moral purpose. The first response of Adam and Eve to their sinful condition was to hide from God, and consequently from one another. Christ’s unhindered openness to the Father was both a model for life and the means of removing humanity’s shame. Christian self-identity is transformed “in him” (biblestudytools.com/dictionary/shame/).
Sin and shame destroy our innocence, relationships, and sense of responsibility just as much today as they did in the garden. If you want to experience restoration, if you want to live a transformed life, it all begins with a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It begins by allowing Him full access to explore and identify those areas in your life which He would like to change. It is completed when we submit fully to His will.
A verse to a song in the songbook says, (SASB #135, v. 3):
Though with our shame we shunned the light,
Thou didst not leave us in the night;
We were not left in sin to stray
Unsought, unloved, from thee away;
For from thy cross irradiates
A power that saves and recreates.
Please allow God to minister to your heart.