Our Elaborate Fig Leaves

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I’m involved with an Old Testament Survey study as part of the Pastorship class I’m attending at our church. Something jumped out at me in last week’s lesson that I simply need to share.

“But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”” – Genesis 3:9-12

All You Need to Know

I’ve said for some time now that everything you need to know about human nature is found in the third chapter of Genesis. I’ve written about it here and a few other places but I hadn’t noticed how much three behaviors stood out in the three short verses quoted above: fear, hiding and accusing.

Sums up everyone’s behavior on the planet.

Fear

There’s a reason “do not fear” appears 365 times in the Bible in various forms, God knew we would fear. And we all fear one or both of two things:

  • Death – at the heart of our fears about money, health, love, earthquakes, control, the unknown and more is our core fear of death. Yet even this has been conquered by Christ, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” – 1 Corinthians 15:55
  • God – the primary reason people don’t accept or fully accept the Lordship of Christ is fear. Not so much a fear of Him, but a fear of losing control of the life we so much want to live.

Or a fear of being exposed

Hiding

I have found no better explanation of hiding and it’s affects than these words of Gayle Erwin in his book, The Jesus Style:

“Our true nature is not designed for us to hide our selves. The energy that goes into hiding is costly to us as persons. Anything we hide forces us to live in a way that will keep what we hide safely hidden. In other words, we become unreal–untrue to ourselves–incongruent. That unreality is opposite to the nature of Jesus who is the God of reality. No energy was spent in covering His life with a mask. In Him, there was no darkeness at all (pages 62-63).”

Sadly, we do most of our hiding in our marriages and families. Which brings us to:

Accusations

Adam blamed Eve and then God (“the woman you gave me”) and Eve blamed the serpent and we’ve been blaming everyone else ever since.

It’s the perfect cycle: fear – hiding – accusing. And because we know the accusations are weak, because they ALWAYS are, we fear being found out so we…hide. Round and round and round and round we go.

Thankfully, the cycle has been broken and we can all participate.

Humility and Conversation

The first step is seeking and walking in true humility:

  • An accurate, healthy and positive assessment of who you are – the good, bad and the ugly. While that may sound contradictory, we can and should embrace all of who we are exactly as we are because…
  • God embraces us exactly as we are. Yes He longs to grow us in His image but this is because He loves us NOT because He can’t wait until ‘we grow up and figure it out’.

From a place of healthy humility, we can then talk:

  • To God who wants to have a relationship with us. A clear, candid, real, no-holds-barred, relationship.
  • To our spouse and family who also want a relationship but, most importantly, have been given to us to help us live life well. The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” – Genesis 2:18. The key word is helper and it’s supposed to work both ways.

We can only find what’s best for us and live the life we’re meant to live by being honest and open with God and those whom God has partnered us with. Take off your fig leaf and talk.

photo credit: Peek-a-boo via photopin (license)

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