Recently, my family has had car trouble. My sister had to have a coil replaced in her sedan last week. My niece’s car was towed to the shop on Wednesday. And the caliper in my car’s front, passenger-side brake locked up. It overheated, melting several seals and a hose. In each instance, we feared the worse. We knew we had to do our part and pay the price to have them repaired.
Yesterday, my pastor started his sermon with a similar scenario. He pointed out that, no matter what material possessions we have that break, our first question is usually, “How bad is it?” We then worry How long will it take to repair the part? Can it be fixed quickly? How much will it cost? Before any of those questions can be answered… before anyone can solve the problem… the source must be identified.
He went on to share a message out of Genesis 3. He dissected this chapter explaining the fall of man in depth. Humans are broken [problem] and have been since Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan to eat the forbidden apple [source]. In scripture, we learn why we hide from God, why we blame one another for our actions, and why we’re slaves of sin.
I spent the better part of the remainder of the day thinking about how broken I am. About broken relationships I’ve experienced. About broken spirits of friends, family, and co-workers. Examples of our broken society played through my mind. Our environment is broken. Our economy is broken. And even, at times, our faith is broken. It is overwhelming to consider how damaged our world is. How bad is it? How long will it take to repair? Can it be fixed quickly? How much will it cost? I rarely worry over it, but I should. We should all recognize how bad it really is. We can’t fix it by ourselves and it won’t be an easy mend. And although Jesus has already paid the costly price, we still have to do our part in the repair.
I kept going back to Genesis 3:11 when God asked, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Adam’s response was essentially, “She gave it to me.” [Accusing Eve of encouraging him to eat from the apple.] Eve then replied, “The serpent deceived me…” It was at that moment blame was first placed onto someone else. It was then in history that man did not accept responsibility for his own actions. And with each day that passed, humans have become more and more comfortable with passing the blame.
Every one of us has accused someone else, with or without considering our part in the problem. Remember the lamp that mysteriously shattered when you and your sibling were playing catch in the house? (Disclaimer: You should never throw a ball in the house!) Every kid swears the other one did it. Or that argument you had with your spouse? Both of you think the other isn’t doing what they should around the house. Maybe you have had a disagreement with a neighbor, friend, or acquaintance? Instead of talking through it with them, you start talking about them to others. You may have even embellished the story to exaggerate their negatives, thinking it minimized your own faults. No matter the situation, we all have pointed our fingers at others.
It’s time that we have ourselves serviced. We must stop hiding from God and allow Him to begin repairing our brokenness. In turn, we have to do our part and stop placing blame on everyone else. It won’t be easy. We’re human… slaves to sin. But we have to accept responsibility for our actions in order to be restored. Then, God can (and will) use us to help repair others.
The next time you are faced with a relationship problem, will you fully consider the source? Will you accept your part? Allow God to repair you… for free!