And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’ Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV)
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The snake deceived me, and I ate.’ Genesis 3:6, 11-13 (NIV)
Taking responsibility for our actions is part of growing up and maturing. Very early in the Bible an incident is recorded that clearly demonstrates how human nature is quick to pass the buck and try to avoid responsibility.
The incident recorded in Genesis 2 and 3 starts well enough, with God instructing Adam about which trees he had permission to eat from (all the trees except two). Having been beguiled by the snake (satan), Eve eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and gives some to Adam, who also ate. Notice that God gave the original command to Adam (Genesis 2:16-17) and Adam must have shared it with Eve (Genesis 3:2-3). Notice also that Adam was with Eve at the time of the temptation (Genesis 3:6), so he should have spoken up and taken responsibility at that point.
The story unfolds with both Adam and Eve being self-conscious in God’s presence and when asked what they had done, both tried to pass the buck. Adam tried to blame Eve (Genesis 3:12) and Eve tried to blame the snake (3:13). Neither of them was prepared to take responsibility for their actions.
Did either Adam or Eve avoid responsibility? No, reading futher in Genesis 3 reveals that both were punished by God because they had disobeyed his command.
God expects us to take responsibility for our actions, so don’t try to avoid the consequences by seeking to pass the buck. Man up (or woman up)!
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