Tonight my three-year old daughter decided to show her true colors as a human. By decided, I mean she acted naturally!
My wife noticed, before bedtime, she was chewing something. Neither my wife nor I had given her anything to eat. My wife asked her what she was eating. My daughter responded, childlike and sinfully, I not eating nothing.
My wife looked at her and persisted in her questioning. Again, my daughter replied that she was not eating anything. My wife asked again and again got the same response. All the while, my daughter was steadily chewing up something in her mouth.
This is known as lying and is not acceptable. Discipline was called for to teach her lying is wrong. When we discipline we then take the time to explain why we did it. My wife took the moment to explain to our daughter that lying was wrong and would not be accepted. After the explanation, we always tell her we love her and admonish her not to do it again.
I remember as a kid, I always hated being asked why I was in trouble. I always wanted a quick and speedy trial, cut straight to the discipline and just get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible.
There seems to be something instinctive in parents, any time a child finds herself in trouble, to ask questions; and usually lots of them! I remember telling my mother I was sorry for this or that and she would ask, Are you sorry you did it or are you sorry you got caught? I remember thinking, especially as I got older, Are you seriously asking me that question?!
God does much the same with his children. He asks us what we’re doing, as our hands are still stained by the sin. He asks why we said what we said, as the words are still warm in our mouth. He asks us why, as the sweat of sin still glistens on our skin.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God came into the garden and asked, Adam, where are you? Of course, God knows the answer to all the above questions. He asks them, not for information, but for our awareness. He asks them to bring self-awareness to us. What was Adam to say? Oh, we’re over here God, just hanging out in these sticky, itchy bushes!
Like Adam, we usually supply enough rope to hang ourselves. It tends to go something like the following scenario.
God: Where are you?
Adam: Hiding in the bushes.
God: Why are you hiding in the bushes?
Adam: Well, because we’re naked as jaybirds.
God: Who told you you were naked? Then the point blank question comes next.
God: Did you do what I told you not to do? And Adam does what we all do . . . he passes the buck.
Adam: She (pointing squarely at his wife Eve) did it!
Not much has changed in the millenia that have passed.
God still asks us the tough, convicting questions when we fall into sin. We still stammer and stutter around the answers. We still try to find someone, anyone, else to blame.
However, true repentance only comes when we agree with God. When we say, God you are right I have sinned. I am wrong.
Of course, there’s always the option my three-year chose. Chew, chew, chew . . . all the while, denying we have anything in our mouths. What should bring shame, often times brings defiance.
My wife wasn’t fooled . . . and neither is God.