Be Still Know
Genesis 3:12 NLT
The man replied, ‘It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’
Having claimed to be a wordsmith, I must admit at times to playing with words in a vain attempt to present myself in the best light. This is sometimes called ‘being economical with the truth’, which is what spin doctors do as they literally attempt to ‘doctor’ the news.
One day Jayne and I planned to take the dog out. In reality I wanted some space, so as Jayne was getting ready, I harnessed the dog and headed off alone. When we met up later Jayne, somewhat annoyed, asked why I had left without her. Calmly I presented the facts. I said that I couldn’t find her, I knew the dog needed a walk and I was seeking to be helpful for all of us. My ‘spin’ earned me an ear-bashing, and increased the tension between us. I was reminded of Adam, pointing the finger in every direction but his own. With the warmth born of a cold heart tied up with a ribbon of reasonableness I crafted sentences to weasel my preferred outcome.
Learning to accept and own responsibility for life’s reverses has proved a hard lesson for me. When the going looks tough I want to pass the buck, to avoid being wrong-footed, I don’t want to be found out. It’s amazing how costly honesty can be. Yet dishonesty poisons the soil that authentic, rewarding relationship needs to grow and flourish.
We are wired through our frailty to instinctively project blame onto others, just like Adam. We don’t want to carry the weight of responsibility in acknowledging it’s our fault. Instead we become adept at blaming others, regardless of how unkind or dishonourable that is. Adam doesn’t just hide physically, he seeks to hide from moral responsibility by blaming both Eve and God, while presenting himself as the unfortunate yet honest victim. Words can be double-edged and so easily used as a deadly weapon.
QUESTION: How are you at taking responsibility when things go wrong?
PRAYER: Lord, help me face my own bad behaviour and be gracious to others for theirs.