3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked;so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
What are the two hardest words to say in the English Language? “I’m sorry.” Why, oh why is it so stinking hard for us to admit our faults? And even when we think in our heads that we might have been in the wrong, we still can’t seem to admit that to anyone. When Adam and Eve were in the garden, they had one rule. Just one simple rule. God said, “Don’t eat the fruit from that tree. Here are all the trees, fruits, plants, and everything you will ever need, just leave that one alone.” Of course, they did not follow the rule. And then when God found them trying to hide in the garden, neither one accepted the blame. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake.
It seems it is instinctual, since the beginning of time, to blame others for our mistakes. But here is the deal, unexamined mistakes repeat themselves. If we don’t take the time to evaluate our mistakes, own our part in them, and apologize for our wrongdoing, then we set ourselves up to push repeat on that behavior. Adam and Eve were speaking the truth to God about what had happened. They just weren’t speaking the whole truth. They both easily blamed another, but did not own their part in the incident. So many of us continue that pattern today.
So, how do we break this cycle of blame? We have to train our brains to evaluate instead of lash out when something happens. Instead of the blame reflex, we need to develop the habit of honest review. And as hard as that seems, pausing to review the scenario honestly with a willingness to own our part in it takes the emotional level down several notches and provides room for clarity. Plus, it is really hard to be mad at someone who sincerely apologizes. Everyone makes mistakes, but the best of us will own it, and say we are sorry to those who need to hear it. “I’m sorry” carries a lot of power.
God, I commit my way to you. I am ready to follow your call, no matter the direction. Guide me with your Spirit and give me courage to follow you closely. May I continue to grow in my trust and faith in you, oh Lord. You are my rock and my redeemer. Thank you for loving me so. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.