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It wasn't me!
- Jacob Ninan
When someone accuses us or points out our fault what is our natural response? "I didn't do it," "It wasn't me," "I am not like that," or is it "What about you?" The story of Adam and Eve and how they turned the question away from them to someone else teaches us what one of the effects of the Fall was (Ge.3:12). We don't like to take the blame, and we will do everything in our power to deflect the focus from us. We may even point out a rare occasion in which we were different from what we are now being accused about, to try and prove that we are quite the opposite of what we are being accused of. For example, if someone is telling us how stingy we are, we like to point out how once we gave someone 100 bucks, without telling them or acknowledging to ourselves how 99 other times we were reluctant to give even one buck!
If we look at ourselves honestly we may come to see that actually we are very painfully aware of our flaws, shortcomings and failures, and that this attempt to cover up is one way we are trying to avoid experiencing more pain. But really, this is a most stupid thing for us to do because it would only increase our potential for pain. Using the example above, down in our heart we know our tendency to be stingy and the recognition of our stinginess is going to haunt us and give us more pain in the future!
What we fail to bring into the picture is that our Lord knew everything about our failures, shortcomings and weaknesses when He took us to Himself. He has washed away the guilt of our sins with His blood and promised never to bring up the subject again (He.8:12), and He is currently trying to make us whole in every area where we lack (Ro.8:28,29). So, when we admit another one of our lacks or failures now, it is not shocking for Him, and He doesn't think any less of us because of that. On the contrary, when we admit our failure or lack, it allows Him to do more of His work of salvation in us in those areas in our life.
As we can see for ourselves, this is something which is easier for us to understand and accept in our mind than to put into practice. That is our challenge, to change from this hurtful habit of covering ourselves up all the time to being honest with ourselves, others and God Himself. But He helps us. Also, after we take the step to admit our fault the first time, it becomes easier for us the next time. We can also learn with time to look at our faults even before others point them out to us!
It is never too late to start. Whatever feeble steps we take towards honesty, let us remember they take us closer to God. He will teach us to get rid of the pain of recognising our failures and to find instead the joy of being right with Him, hating sin and loving righteousness (He.1:9). Our self esteem goes up when we know what the Lord thinks about us, and our dealings with others become more merciful. Let us allow God to reverse in us the effects of the Fall and take us closer to what He wants us to be.