The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” – Gen. 3:12 NIV
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The Almighty God had taken a decision to make man the caretaker of the Garden of Eden. He was to till the ground and ensure that all was in order – Gen. 2:15. There was also the fringe benefit of being able to eat any fruit of his choice in the garden. Any fruit that is, except one which he said was the tree of knowledge of good and evil which he pointed out clearly to Adam – Gen. 2:16. Being the head of his family, he would be expected to convey this instruction to his wife, when she was eventually created, which he obviously did – Gen. 3:1-2. However, the devil showed up in the absence of Adam to convince Eve of an act that was completely against the instruction of God – Gen. 3:4-5. It was an instruction and not a suggestion so it was not about the result of eating the fruit but the consequence of disobedience and disrespect to the instructions of the Almighty God. She did not only yield to the suggestion of the devil, but also sold the idea to her husband, Adam, who bought the idea thereby joining in the act of dis-obedience and dis-respect for the Instructions of God – Gen. 3:6-7.
All these happened with all parties very conscious and willing to accept the suggestion of Satan, so it was surprising to hear the comments of Adam and Eve when God showed up. Adam blamed his wife for his dis-obedience, who in turn passed the responsibility for the dis-obedience to the Serpent – Gen. 3:12-13. This blame transferring game did not cut any ice with the Almighty God who punished each one accordingly – Gen. 3:14-19.
Many Christians however have refused to learn from this experience of Adam, Eve and the Serpent as they continue to believe that passing the blame for an erroneous act to someone else is sufficient to exonerate them. They are quick to find a scapegoat for all the misfortune that they are going through without realizing that they own their lives and no one else. They only should therefore be responsible for how it is run especially with regards to adherence to the instructions of the Almighty God. It is simply impossible to blame anyone, pastors or spiritual leaders inclusive, for an error of judgement that has produced negative repercussion.
Just like in the case of Adam, the instruction of the Almighty God is usually very clear and direct, that is for those who honestly want to walk in them. They can be classified into two groups; general instructions and personalised instructions. The general Instructions are as stated in the scriptures which is available for all to read and get used to. There may be the need for a mentor, to have a proper understanding of the scripture, and this for any Christian may be a human mentor or the Holy Spirit, the latter being a better option. The specific instructions are given to the individual concerned directly and cannot be applied to another person’s life. None of these options however, should eliminate the fact that man, by the eating of the fruit in the garden of Eden, acquired the ability to know good and evil – Micah 6:8; Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 10:16-26. Not even Adam and Eve could excuse their actions as they were being directly mentored by the Almighty God. He was always available and accessible for them to confirm any action before carrying it out, especially when it seems to contravene what they heard from him. No matter the amount of influence any human being may have, all he/she can offer remains only suggestions as it was still left to the individual to take a decision. God only reacts to decisions and not suggestions so one wonders how the Christian expects to be excused from the blame when it was an act that was voluntarily carried out by him/her.
The Christian instead of waiting to blame anyone for the errors of judgement he/she committed can prevent such regrets if such can be pro-active by:
1. Taking every opinion of men, irrespective of their spiritual standing as what it is, which is a mere suggestion.
2. The Christian should place such suggestions side-by-side with the instructions of the Almighty God, received either directly, or proven by His Words in the scriptures.
The Christian will then be in a position to take a decision and should be ready to take responsibility for any decision taken. It may even be possible for the Almighty God to exonerate the individual from the consequences of the error of judgement, on the basis of a clear conscience leading to the error, rather than expecting that blaming another will be valid. Such third party may be in error also but it will never exonerate him/her from the implication of a wrong decision.
Be honest with your life and take responsibility. Avoid the thinking that blaming others will help as all you will get is an emotional consolation that will not eliminate the consequence of such a wrong decision on your life.
May God help you to take full charge of your life in all circumstances in Jesus name. Amen.