“And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?…” Genesis 3:11a
Sometimes I think, as people, we are pretty gullible. It is probably why marketers are so successful selling us things we don’t need. We believe the lies told to us in print ads and commercials that tell us we can’t live without whatever product they are selling. Or worse that our lives will be better, we will be more attractive, smarter, stronger and the list goes on. We believe we are less than until we take a bite from what they are selling.
That is the case with Eve. She believed the snake when he twisted God’s words when he asked: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Re-read that sentence. Can you see the lie? Here is what God really said: “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 of it you will surely die.” Now God gave permission to eat from all but one tree…the snake reframed God’s words to ask did God really say you couldn’t eat from ANY tree? And so, ensues the conversation between Eve and the snake…the door was opened by the lie told. And all creation is paying the price of that one lie believed.
We are good at telling lies. Many of you are saying right now: “I don’t lie!!!!” The truth is we all do. Oh, we may not lie intentionally, but we do lie. And typically, the person we lie to most often is ourselves. Take another look at the short passage I included for today…God is seeking out Adam and Eve after they ate the fruit. They realized they were naked, and they hid from God. God is asking, “who told you…how did you know?” Well, since they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, they became aware of their state of being. They realized what that state of being was and they hid. So, what is the first thing they do?
They lie to God. Adam blames the woman…it was all her fault but even more he blames God…you gave her to me. The woman passes the buck onto the serpent who deceived her…and even though she is pointing the finger at the snake, she is also telling the truth…the snake did deceive her. And while there are some who point to this story and say women are weaker because she was the one deceived…Adam, who God gave the commandment not to eat from that specific tree, did not protect her nor did he try to stop her. And, where else would Adam be but beside Eve? Because scripture tells us Adam was with her when she ate the fruit. But I digress…
Prior to this, we are told in Genesis 2: 25: “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” When they ate the fruit, they were ashamed. I can’t help but think this is because in eating the fruit, and we don’t know what kind of fruit they ate, all the lies, shame, evil desires and death entered into creation. It is no wonder we tell lies.
The worst lies however, are the lies we tell ourselves. While most of us wouldn’t even consider telling someone else a lie, we will tell ourselves lies all day long. We don’t measure up, we aren’t good enough, we are too fat, we are a failure, we can’t do this or can’t do that…if we tell them often enough, we believe them to be truths about us and those lies we have chosen to believe end up becoming who we are.
But…the only one who tells us who we are is the one who created us. The one who loves us and knows exactly how many hairs we have on our heads. The one who believes we are perfect just as we are.
Here’s the thing…We all need to stop lying to ourselves. Because we ARE deeply loved by God who created us. There is nothing we can do to add to that. What we can do…for ourselves, is to take care of ourselves. We know the drill: eat right, exercise, go to church, and when things are stressful, seek counseling to help us through. But even if we don’t…God loves us. Period.
One more thing: we need to stop believing the lies others tell us too. But that is a post for another day.