“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." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate."” Genesis 3:9-12 ESV
This week’s scripture is taken from a story that will be familiar to many of us. In the story of The Fall, we see that despite the instruction from God to not eat of the tree of good and evil, Adam and Eve proceed in ignoring God’s direction.
For the sake of this week’s devotional, I want to focus on the concept of taking responsibility. We live in a culture where as a general observation no one likes to take responsibility. Whether it be individuals or institutions, no one seems to wants to take responsibility for their actions or omissions. Let’s take for example the current knife and gun crime epidemic in London. The community are blaming the police, the police are blaming the government, the government are blaming the schools, the schools are blaming the parents and the parents are blaming the Church! Everyone is blaming somebody, but no one is taking responsibility.
We see this same pattern through Adam’s dialogue with God, once the fruit from the tree of good and evil had been eaten. When God asked Adam if he had eaten from the forbidden tree, what is interesting is that before he either admits or denies eating from the tree, he passes blame, by stating that the woman (Eve) that God gave him, had encouraged him to eat the fruit. What is interesting here is that we don’t see Adam blame just one other person, but two. God, for giving him the woman and then the woman for encouraging him to eat the fruit.
It is also worth noting at this point that the instruction to not eat of the tree was not given to Eve but just to Adam (Gen 2:17). Adam’s handling of The Fall, demonstrates to us the importance of taking responsibility for our actions, rather than seeking to blame others when we do something wrong. My encouragement to us all today, is to remind us that we are the ones responsible for the decisions we make. Yes, our choices may be be influenced by individuals and circumstances, but ultimately we are the ones who have to take full responsibility for our actions, whether good or bad.
What are some of the areas of your life where you have been forgoing responsibility? Maybe it’s your marriage, your friendships, your job or even your relationship with God.
Let today be the start of a new season, where we are transformed from the image of Adam into the image of Christ, who despite not being the one responsible, took the responsibility upon himself to die so we do not have to.
From today onward, let us be intentional when it comes to taking responsibility for our actions and omissions.
Remember... The buck stops with you!
I thank you that we each have been made in your image and likeness.
Help us to not be like Adam, but to be like Christ and take responsibility for our actions at all times.
In Jesus name we pray.