Our daily lives are filled with choices. At each crossroads of decision we evaluate outcomes and make a choice, based on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include: Impulse, training, past experiences, core values, goals, needs and the influence of others. There are times when our decisions are appropriate, and there are also times that we simply make wrong choices.
There are always consequences for the decisions we make, good or bad. Our willingness to accept responsibility for those choices is critical, in spite of our nature that seeks to shift blame.
Genesis 3:9-12 (NASB)
9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”
In the Garden of Eden, Adam had been given instruction about which trees he could eat from and at the same time he was forbidden to eat from one particular tree. These directions were given specifically to Adam, thus making Adam completely responsible for any decisions regarding the forbidden tree. Having this knowledge, Adam made a choice to eat from the forbidden tree.
Notice in the above passage, how Adam responds to the question of “his” actions. Adam blames Eve for giving him the fruit from the tree, but he also blames God for putting her in the garden. We might paraphrase it this way: “That woman YOU put here with me (I wasn’t looking for her, I might add), she handed me the fruit (so technically she took it first) and gave it to me, and I ate it….but remember, she started it.”
Accountability is not always enjoyable, especially in the face of wrong choices and willful disobedience; however, accountability is what God has modeled even in the Garden of Eden. Notice, God asks Adam: “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Like it or not, Adam was personally responsible for his actions.
With accountability comes God’s grace. Yes, there are consequences for our actions, but there is also mercy in those consequences. For Adam and Eve, they were no longer allowed to remain in the Garden of Eden. The Bible also tells us that God provided animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve, covering the nakedness that had now become a source of shame.
Today you will encounter choices. Each choice is an opportunity for righteousness or selfishness. Those choices ride squarely on your shoulders and there is no one else responsible, but you. If you find yourself facing consequences of bad choice, remember in the midst of those consequences God also extends sufficient grace.