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Genesis 3:12-13

The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

You know what I think of when I read this? Myself. Each time I have reacted negatively to the illumination of sin in my life it can be summed up in the way Adam and Eve responded, EXCUSES. They're seriously one of the biggest factors, for me at least, prohibiting my heart from opening up, softening up, and repenting from sin.

What is my initial reaction to accusation? Do I react like Adam and Eve, trying to justify sin? Really, that's all that an excuse is at the end of the day... nothing more than a justification for sin. You know the old adage: "The Devil made me do it!" Yeah, and I'm usually quick to say "oh no, the Devil can't make you do anything!" But unfortunately in practice, that's not what my attitudes are speaking. Let me tell you something, we are all responsible but we don't all take responsibility, and one day we will all be held responsible! Adam and Eve may have thought they would try and excuse themselves and hopefully extinguish God's justice, or possibly remove some of the guilt from their hearts. But our existence just doesn't work that way. Actually, the laws of physics... the nature of the universe... the whole nature of the Almighty God himself doesn't even work that way! Excuses, even if they put off the punishment and consequences of sin in this lifetime, nothing escapes God. Even though Adam and Eve attempted to dodge responsibility, God's justice still flowed forth, on all associated parties. (Vs. 14-24)

Here's an interesting thought: Adam and Eve may have not even realized exactly what they were doing when they attempted to excuse themselves. What I mean is that we too may have become "2nd nature excusers." We have become so familiar with the attitude of not taking responsibility that excuses pour from our mouths before anything can ever pour into our hearts. Here's a take home: What is my initial response when sin is brought to my attention? Do I truly examine myself to see whether or not these things are true, or do I respond with a reason why they're wrong and I'm right?

How did you just respond to that question?

Be honest, because I'll share a little secret with you... we are all expert excuse makers. Truly examine your heart and remove the pride that might block access to the life-giving word of God.

I don't have to list any reasons why a person SHOULD NOT take responsibility... besides the fact that none of them hold their weight in truth, they are all way too obvious. What I would like to share with you, is the reason why a person SHOULD take responsibility, and how doing so can change your life. When you take responsibility for your negative actions, thoughts or attitudes, you are placing yourself down a road of constant improvement and here's why; if you never take responsibility for anything, and insistently excuse your bad behavior, what will ever motivate you to improve? Where will your desire to turn your life around come from? An attitude of excuse negates the necessity for change in order to remove the need for making the excuse in the first place! Try and find an athlete who hates exercise, or a wealthy businessman who hates closing large deals. Excuses and lack of responsibility is an oxymoron for a Christian life. It would be like saying "I am a Christian" while at the same time not truly loving God by following his commandments. (John 14:15)

To be clear, I am not saying you should never stand up for your own innocence. What I am saying, in a nutshell, is that our legal system says "Innocent until proven guilty" but what our heart should say (about ourselves) is "guilty. guilty. guilty." Followed by constant self examination to see whether we are in the faith.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

If God, who has the power to speak dust into a living being, the power to speak the sun, the moon, and the stars into creation looks down on us human beings, and LOVES us. If such a powerful being places so much emphasis on US... that sure says a lot about how important we really are. We are created in His image and what a blessing it is to be loved by such a magnificent and powerful God! Let's be proud to be called children of our Father, but remove the pride that causes excuses and irresponsibility.

Skyler Meek