As Pastor Timothy Keller continues his look at the beginning chapters of Genesis in Chapter 5 of Every Good Endeavor, he states that as soon as Adam and Eve sinned by eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they experienced the natural consequences of working against God’s design- the experience “internal shame, guilt, and brokenness.” Old Testament scholar David Atkinson (The Message of Genesis 1-11: The Dawn of Creation) defines shame as “that sense of unease with yourself at the heart of your being.” While we know something is wrong with us, we can’t admit or identify what’s wrong.
Pastor Keller observes that the deep restlessness of shame can take several forms- “guilt and striving to prove ourselves, rebellion and the need to assert our independence, compliance and the need to please others.” Mistrust and fear of others is yet another manifestation of our shame. Sin blinds us to taking responsibility for our own behavior. Author Alec Motyer comments on sin’s blinding effects:
“From the moment of the fall, humankind has suffered from moral schizophrenia: neither able to deny sinfulness nor to acknowledge it for what it is.”
Our ministry downsizing or position loss causes excruciating pain as it permeates every aspect of our lives. We need to reaffirm our identity as a child of God, our dependence on Him, and our trust in His providence.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Work’s thorns and thistles”