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 3:10-12
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:8-10
We're only a few days into summer and our girls are "loving" the extended sister time. For the most part, they do enjoy each other's company but like all of us, they crave their own space. Eventually, they begin to bicker, compete in an eye roll and UGH! contest, throw some clothes and slam a few doors.
When I (or more often than not my wife) go to play mediator and referee, we hear two drastically different stories of what transpired. But, what is present in each transcript is defensiveness and justification. "She did this..." 'I wouldn't have yelled if she...." "She started it..." "Mom...you don't understand..."
The finger-pointing tactic is nothing new for my girls, or anyone else for that matter. Attempting to skirt responsibility began in the Garden of Eden. Adam not only blamed Eve for the fall but attempted to paint God as a culprit because He was the one who made Eve his partner. In Adam's eyes, everyone else was at fault, except for himself.
We react to our mistakes, our struggles, and our failings in the same way. Our default posture is defensiveness. We are experts at playing the blame game. We negotiate with God - trying to plead our case.
We attempt to justify our sin forgetting that God has already justified us. He accomplished this not by making what we did wrong right, but by punishing it on the cross. Our defensiveness can dissipate in light of the Gospel. We can now own where we've fallen short because that gap was covered in His grace.
Confession is a response to what Jesus made right. Our confession isn't to get God to forgive us. Our confession is to align our hearts with what He has already done. This allows us to come into His presence and not just concede our point, but actually embrace His ways.
- Where does defensiveness exist in your heart?
- In what situations are you trying to justify your attitude, actions, and behavior?
God, help me to own where I've looked to lesser things for fulfillment, pursued my agenda above everything else, or caused pain to others through my words and actions. Rather than justify my response or my shortcomings, may I be courageous enough to confess them to You. Let me not hide, but step into the freedom that only comes through Your forgiveness. In Your name Jesus. Amen.