All of us are familiar with the “blame game.” It is, quite frankly, a game at which all of us excel. Projecting the responsibility for our wrongdoing is an ability with which we seem to be hard-wired, simply because it comes so very easily for us. Owing up to our part in what is sideways in our lives is indeed one of life’s greatest struggles.
But ironically, owning up to our roles in life’s wrongs is also the first step toward making things right, and being made right ourselves. That’s the primary lesson in the third question God poses to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. “What have you done?” is a question that fully snaps the first couple out of their lost innocence by forcing them to confront the mess they have made of Paradise by disregarding the boundaries God had established for their good. While acknowledging their sin was as hard for Adam and Eve as it for us today, it was nonetheless essential that they do so in order for God to begin to bring about the redemption and restoration that only God can make possible. It is also essential for us today.
Be certain that it is a part of Satan’s strategy to make us believe that we have no personal responsibility for our actions. But be certain that our acceptance of such a lie will only leave us mired in our sin and shame. Only by coming clean before God will we be in a position for God to respond to our confession by purifying our souls in His mercy and grace.
I’ve never fully understood why in Baptist worship we don’t take more time to engage in corporate confession. Perhaps our emphasis on the individual leaves that a personal matter between each of us and God. So, let’s be prepared when we come to worship this Sunday to confess our sin and acknowledge our wrong. Only then will grace abound for us and the shaming voices be replaced with ones that lift us to a higher plane of life. Anyone who leaves worship without knowing that life will only have himself or herself to blame.