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Sep 23

Self-consciousness

Self-consciousness

 

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves…. “Who told you that you were naked,” the lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

                                                                                                                        Genesis 3:7, 11

 

Have you ever thought about that? Why didn’t Adam and Eve know they were naked before they disobeyed God, and why did they know it after they disobeyed him? I can’t prove it, but I think I know the answer. Before they disobeyed God, their lives were completely in his hands and as a result they were completely un-self-conscious. Some people say, “Oh, this is just a myth to explain our change from childhood to puberty.” No, I think it is the other way around. Our change from childhood to puberty mirrors what happened to our first mother and father. Furthermore, I think this is what Jesus meant when he said that we must all become as little children if we want to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:15).

 

What am I saying? I am saying that when Adam saw Eve, he wasn’t thinking of himself at all; he was just looking at the most gorgeous creature on earth. It was the same with Eve. When she looked at Adam, all she saw was a luscious hunk. But what happened when they decided they could not trust their Father to give them what they needed, and that they were going to have to supply their needs for themselves? Now when Adam looked at Eve, all he saw was Adam reflected in Eve’s eyes, and it was the same for Eve. They no longer saw each other, now all they saw was themselves, and what they saw was shameful in its limitations and its inadequacy.

 

Ever since that day, we, their children, have walked through life with a mirror fastened in our hands. Of course, in this life since that day, we will never be free of self-consciousness, and it is not by any means all bad. But, oh for the freedom not to have to worry about whether we are getting all we have deserved (of course not – thank God!), or what others are thinking and saying about us. To be other focused, and not self-focused. And that is exactly what 100% surrender offers us, the chance to get ourselves off our hands and onto his. Finally, that is the difference between David and Saul – poor Saul never got Saul off Saul’s hands.

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