Our Fallen Nature

shifting-blameThen the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:9-13)

Not only had they attempted to cover their guilt with fig leaves … and not only did they hide from God for the first time ever, now they engaged in the timeless practice of blame shifting. (Note that even in his fallen state, man can still hear the voice of God calling to him.)

Adam was the person God addressed first, as he was the head of his home. Adam was aware of his fear, of his nakedness, and that he had hidden from God.

When asked about whether or not he’d eaten from the forbidden tree, Adam told the truth: the woman had given him the fruit of the tree. But the question was asked not about how he’d come to eat of the tree, but had he done it. It was a question intended to elicit a confession. No confession came. Instead, blame was cast in the direction of the woman. “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree.” Indirectly, he was not only blaming the woman but blaming God for giving her to him.

 The woman was next. “What is this you have done?” Like her husband, she avoided direct responsibility. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” In other words, the devil made me do it.

This unwillingness to accept and assume personal responsibility for our own actions is a symptom of our spiritual death. It is the opposite of brokenness (Psalms 51:17), confession (1 John 1:9), and repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Without proper confession and repentance, we remain bound by our sin.

The new birth gives us the ability to live differently. Our old man died, our new man lives (Romans 6:6, 11). Now we can take full responsibility for our lives before our Father who loves us.

For Further Review

1.  Cite an example in your own life where you have shifted the blame for something you did (or didn’t do) that was wrong. Looking back, what have you done about it?

2.  List some areas where you have had difficulty assuming responsibility. Ask God to help you identify these areas. Then through prayer and the Word, allow Him to begin His work in you. Mark down the date of your prayer so as to track your progress.

 3.  Reconsider Romans 6:6, 11. How does the truth of these verses fight against the natural tendencies we inherited from Adam and Eve?
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