Written by Fr. Dale Minor - The Reclaim Ministry
“Then the Lord 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.’” (Gen 3:9-12)
So started the blame game. Adam was caught in his sin, he had violated the direct command of God and when confronted he not only blamed his partner for plucking the fruit from the tree, but implied that it was God’s fault for giving him this woman to start with. We know the story: Eve then blamed the serpent, who certainly was guilty on many counts, but it wasn’t the serpent who had been told not to eat of the tree; it wasn’t even Eve. God had expressly told Adam not to eat this forbidden fruit, this fact is recorded in Genesis 2:17 which, in accordance with the chronology of Genesis 2, was before Eve was even created. Adam’s blame game did not hold up.
So, who paid the consequence? We all do. Certainly Adam and Eve as well as the serpent did. But “the seeds,” the offsprings of this first couple were affected, even infected; (Gen.3:15) and the earth itself became cursed. “Cursed is the ground for your sake; (or because of you.) in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” (Gen 3:17b) The Lord goes on to cite details of the effects of this curse with the final one being that death became a fact of life; “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen 3:19)
Okay, we have heard the bad news; let’s hear the good. It comes in the form of Jesus Christ. I trust we all have heard the Gospel and believe that Jesus died as atonement for our sin; that we are saved by his death and resurrection. Yes, even after hundreds of generations, we, the seed of Adam and Eve, still have sin within us, and face the same condemnation: -- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...” But the Good News comes in the continuation of this statement; “…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,…” (Rom 3:23-24)
But even as grace comes freely, God makes a demand of us. While Jesus was clear in his call and mission as in Luke 19:10 when He was being challenged for sitting with Zaccheus the tax collector, He declared, “..the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost;” He also preached from the very start of his ministry; “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt. 4:17)
Even in a secular dictionary, the word repent means to “turn from sin and resolve to reform one’s life.” Synonyms for repent include: bemoan, deplore, lament, regret, and rue. In no place in these do we find room for actions such as denial, excuses, rationalization, and certainly not blaming others.
The blame game is used heavily in our society; -- no one wants to accept their own fault. “It was my parents, my environment, it is the way I was taught, etc.” We blame authorities, and lack of authority; we can find reasons to blame anything and anybody when the truth of the matter is that sin is a choice we alone make.
Another common excuse for certain sins is, “It involves no one but myself, so it doesn’t matter.” This is a huge lie. Your sin does hurt you, and what hurts you affects those who love you. Plus, no sin is committed in a vacuum. Its effects will impact others whether you admit it or not. And some consequences are generational, their effects may not be seen until after we are gone.
The bottom line is, there is no value gained in blaming others, God didn’t ask Adam, “Who caused you to sin?” He asked, “What did you do?” He hasn’t changed; He still requires that we confess our sin, and repent of it.