Gen. 2:15-17 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden … But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.
”Gen. 3:8-13 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
It is so easy to blame others for what you do or do not do. Here we see that Adam and Eve did everything they could to avoid taking responsibility for their own sin. Adam blamed blamed God then he blamed his wife, “it was you who gave me this woman and she gave me the fruit” Eve did not accept responsibility but turned and blamed the serpent: “The serpent deceived me”. God ignores our excuses for our sins and we live with the consequences of our sins.
Too often in life we blame others for our choices. Too often I hear people blaming their Parents, their friends, their culture, their personality, their spouse, their work, their manager. I hear people blaming God because they did not having sufficient time to do all they want to do. It is common in our society for people to be blaming the Church or the Pastor as being at fault because the church does not have the things they want like a different worship time, a children’s program, a worship service in their language. People blame the Pastor or the church for not being a bigger church, a church with more activities, being a church more like the church they have gone to in the past.
The quickness of blaming others is an indication that we have not fully and genuinely repented of our sin, our lack of being obedient to God and what God is asking us to do. Yes our excuses are plentiful and our quickness to complain is deafening, making it impossible to be free of our own sins. Yet despite all this God still makes restoration available. It is free. The only thing it cost is our pride. Our willingness to surrender our will to God. Restoration and forgiveness can not happen until we accept full responsibility for our actions, our sins our own actions.
John writes how we can have this freedom and live a life that is free from guilt and shame, free to live without this sin issue always pulling us down.
1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness".
Your 1st step acknowledge and take responsibility for your own sins, your own actions. Your 2nd step is ask God and then ask others for forgiveness. Only when you you do both steps, then you will you be free to receive God’s forgiveness and you will on the path to spiritual maturity.
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ.
Take time to pray. In fact do not go a day without praying. Why? You need to keep Christ 1st in your life. You need to rely upon Christ for the challenges you face. Don’t try to figure things out on your own without Christ. Life has many pitfalls and Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from living a life that honors God, so keep God 1st. He needs to be your highest priority.
You have some choices to make and you need to make the right choices for those in your community are watching you. They are watching to see who this God is whom you worship. They are watching to see if you are all the rest of the religious people, all show in public as if they are God’s favorite child. But when they think no one is looking, they are just like everyone else, they lie, cheat and steal.
Yes you need to make good choices so that those watching you, see Christ in you. God wants people to see you living a life that honors him. This means not just in what you do but in what you talk about. They need to hear the good news from you. They need to hear how Christ has changed your life and how you rely upon Him for everything. So can you do this? Can you live this like this? I hope so. (A rewrite of Col. 4)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter (it does not matter where you come from). Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Col. 3:1-16 NLT)