“It stinks when one person ruins it for everyone else”, said one of my coworkers. One person’s unethical behavior had caused disciplinary action to be administered to everyone and she was bothered. It was fascinating to see how despite her disappointment, she understood the reason for the change in policy. People tend to understand human imposed policy changes…but concerning Adam and Eve, and the fall of human kind; we find fault. “Why would God punish everyone? It makes no sense!” LoL. Au contraire—it makes perfect sense, especially when Adam was warned. Furthermore, considering that since birth, every last one of us has succumbed to our urge to sin and disobey; who among us has proven themselves worthy to enter a paradise reserved for the pure? Not a soul!
What is purity and by what standard can it be gauged?
Imagine this for a moment:
A perfect God sits on high. He observes us with perfect awareness of the Hawthorne effect, knowing that if He appeared in the fulness of glory, every knee would bow to their Creator. Everyone, knowing that God was watching over the would suddenly become believers in what they saw and never learn the beauty of faith. They would be as gold digging women who are uninterested in a man, until he flaunts his wealth. God knows who He is, and therefore watches, waits, and sometimes intervenes (yet unseen as wind). He respects our free will. He respects our desire to do things our way until we’re sick and tired of going in circles, wondering why we hit rock bottom, or why we’re stick in the same awful predicament(s).
Many of us have a skewed definition of “good”. It never gets old hearing “I’m a good person”. Newsflash! By our own standards, almost all of us are good people; we just mess up sometimes…you know? We just make mistakes. But then there’s the pinnacle of all existing power and goodness and He’s perfectly righteous! He sets a standard that no one can live up to, but remains nevertheless—unchanging like the standard by which we would measure the straightness of a line or roundness of a circle. No one can consistently draw perfectly straight lines without a ruler, or perfectly round circles without a compass. Likewise, no one can even begin to live a perfect life without a perfect standard. That’s where we all are, but at least some have gotten on the right track.
Who among us can be confident that unlike a gremlin, they would not bring corruption back into a paradisal world? If the garden of Eden were restored today, who would not ruin a perfect word by telling a lie, stealing, coveting someone’s property…etc. Even the tiniest seed of sin would restore the trees of corruption that exist in our current world and in so doing restore death; for the wages of sin is death (c.f. Romans 6:23). However, through no power of our own, but by a love greater than all others, Jesus (the Christ) died once for mankind. In Him is the only hope of salvation. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
No amount of meditation, self reflection, self-denial, or self-inflicted discipline can change that. No vows, resolutions, or commitments to change can make anyone worthy to avoid death and judgment. Ignorance and denial don’t excuse anyone. So what shall we do? There are two clear choices. Either accept Christ into your life, understanding that He intentionally took the punishment of death that brought us peace and hope of everlasting life or continue to close your eyes, plug your ears, and sing over words of truth because you’re a good person according to your own already imperfect standards.
It stinks that one person ruined it for everyone. Through Adam, sin and death came into the world. Eve was deceived, but the man disobeyed (c.f. 1 Timothy 2:14). It stinks, but here’s some good news…God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)