Sunday, June 10, 2018

Some favorite expressions of small children: "It's not my fault...They made me do it...I forgot." Some favorite expressions of adults: "It's not my job...No one told me...It couldn't be helped." True freedom begins and ends with personal accountability. -- It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”― Voltaire: (1694 – 1778: was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher)

Scripture passage:(GN 3:9-15)
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself."
Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!"
The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me—
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it."
The LORD God then asked the woman,
"Why did you do such a thing?"
The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it."

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."

Poor Eve. She always gets the blame. Through the ages, we have blamed the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden on Eve because she listened to the serpent, because she tempted Adam, because she was not strong enough to say No. We even feel at times that everything was premeditated, that Eve wanted Adam to disobey God. And so we have blamed Eve for so many years. Poor Eve!

But we should remember that Adam had free will. Adam was not an innocent simpleton who did not know what was going on. Adam made a choice: he ate the fruit Eve gave to him. He could have said No? He could have reminded Eve of God's clear prohibition on eating the fruit of that tree. But, for whatever reason or reasons he had, he readily accepted what Eve offered him and ate the fruit, disobeying God's command.

And yet he immediately blamed her when God asked how he knew he was naked. He never really took full responsibility for his actions.

Yes, we get tempted. We get tempted every day, by so many things. And sometimes, when we yield, like Adam and like Eve, we immediately blame someone or something else: "The woman you put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it." "The serpent deceived me and I ate." This is all too typical of us and our human nature. 

And yet we have to remember that we are responsible for our own decisions and actions, that we can choose to say Yes or No, that we can agree of disagree, that we can stand up or not for what we believe in.. God has always respected us enough to allow us the freedom he gave us to make our own decisions. But we remember that with that freedom comes true responsibility.

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