I know we are not alone. People have told me that they have one just like mine. That fiery child who can erupt at a moment’s notice and set the household in a talespin. She started to blow, I could feel the first word coming out of her mouth as she pursed her lips in slow motion…I could see the first word forming before I heard it. “Buuuttttt……”
My latest strategy has been to stop it before she gets to the letter “t”. I shut it down before it has a chance to work its way up into something. I recognize that point. It’s that point at which I often catch my own self thinking “I shouldn’t say this…but…” and then I let it rip. That point at which you say something hurtful in your relationships that didn’t need to come out. The point at which you should not react at all, and then you do it anyway. You can feel it coming on, but you can’t seem to catch it before you leap into a human nature you wish you didn’t have. How do you stop yourself right at that point.
I was seriously thinking the other day, “I wish a whole lot of bells and lights and sirens would happen right at that moment”? And it got me to wondering, where do people actually go wrong? There’s a point at which we all make that “lean in” toward a sin before we commit it.
I thought I’d run back to the first sin for a clue or two. In Genesis 1 and 2, when God completed his fantastic creation of man and woman, everything was good! They were naked and not ashamed. To be naked and not ashamed, everything has got to be good! (Coming from the woman who thinks naked and over 45 ought to be in the dark to not be ashamed!) All was well!
And then, in Genesis 3, there it is! That point! The point at which someone “leaned in” toward the first sin. Genesis 3 starts off like this:
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Did you miss it? That point? At what point did Eve “lean in” to sin? It’s implied, not written. Eve leaned in to sin at the point at which she stopped talking with God in the garden and started listening to someone else! If she had never ceased in their conversation with God in the garden, if they had never ceased hearing what God had told them to start, she’d have never taken the moment to listen to someone else! We have to be so pre-occupied by God that we can’t be occupied by anyone else! I bet there are a whole lot of things we wouldn’t say if we were still busy talking to God, a whole lot of things we wouldn’t do, a whole lot of ….”but….”s that would never happen. That’s the moment we “lean in”…the moment we stop leaning toward God speaking to us. Because any direction other than His, is leaning in the the wrong direction.
……And right after we say it, right after we do it…our eyes are open…and we are so ashamed.