Snapshots: Day 12
The Snapshot: “they hid from the Lord God.” Guilt alienates – us from ourselves (not facing who we really are), from others (not being able to relate properly to others), from society (who we see as hostile and cruel) and from God (who we fear), the One we were designed to relate to as loving Father. Thus all these other things tend to be dysfunctional, not working as they should. Guilt robs us of the potential of who I could be, of how I could be blessed by others and bless them, of how I could enjoy the wonder of the world and the wonder of God, especially the wonder of God. (“What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.” A catechism) Do I need to let Him restore that togetherness, that joy?
Further Consideration: Yesterday we considered the way we, as sinful human beings, cross the many boundaries built into creation, giving way to temptation. But so much of the time it isn’t that we are disobeying specific prohibitions, but more that we ignore the wisdom of God that is inherently there for each and every one who has entered into a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, each one who has received the now indwelling Holy Spirit. It is He who conveys the wisdom of God to the children of God and it comes from within when we are living this genuine, real relationship. But then we choose to ignore Him; the ‘fruit’ before us looks so enticing and we submit to the temptation.
And then comes the guilt. One dictionary defines guilt as, ‘a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong.’ There are a number of ways that we try and deal with this inner feeling and we’ll consider some more tomorrow but here in the verse from Gen 3:8 we see the response to this fresh sense of guilt was to hide away from God.
The world tries to hide away from God by pretending He is not there, by coming up with lots of implausible reasons why He can’t be there; some even write lengthy books to try to convince themselves and others (so they will not be alone in their deception) while all the time ignoring the massive piles of evidence that He is there.
Christians try and hide away from God by hiding behind piles of ‘good works’ or ‘religious ritual’ and thus create these piles of refuse that they think will blot out His all-seeing eyes. We let ourselves think that perhaps our guilt can be covered up by the undergrowth of these things, like Adam and Eve hiding among the trees – but God still sees, God still knows, so the best thing is to be open and honest and confess, “I blew it.” Maturity is being able to do that quickly for the longer we put it off, the more we miss out on God’s goodness.