Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
October 15, 2010
Could it be You?
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." 1 John 1:9-10 (NIV)
I remember the day I realized I have Adam's Disease. It took me awhile to notice—in fact, most people with this debilitating condition don't ever recognize it. But the best doctor I know pointed out its symptoms, and though I hated to admit it, I've frequently displayed them.
Could it possibly affect you as well? Maybe so.
Adam's Disease is an insidious condition that interferes with the patient's ability to grow. It does this by preventing the patient from admitting and taking responsibility for their sin. Take a look at the first confirmed case:
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (Genesis 3:8-12, NIV)
What we have here is a textbook case of acknowledgement-avoidance and blame-shifting. Classic traits of Adam's Disease.
Adam hid because he sinned—he did the very thing God personally commanded him not to, and he knew it. He ate the fruit. He held it to his mouth, bit in, chewed, felt the juice dripping from his chin—and then his eyes were opened. Opened to what he had done, and opened to how miserable it feels to disconnect from God.
Trying to change the subject and avoid talking about his sin, Adam said he was hiding because he was naked. Nakedness … a lesser offense. A problem, not a sin. A state that wasn't really his fault. After all, he didn't make himself naked. God did.
And that's where the second most prominent feature of Adam's Disease kicks in: blame-shifting. After trying to minimize the severity of their sin, the patient enters a frenzied state of denial and begins casting blame. He searches for a scapegoat. God will do; other people work even better, particularly those who are not without sin either. So the patient turns the attention away from themselves, leveling accusations (no matter how old) to shift focus and blame on others.
If we are skilled orators or experienced arguers, this often works for us in our relationships. The problem is, we walk away from the confrontation feeling victorious rather than convicted. We actually talk ourselves into feeling self-righteous after sinning.
Without conviction, however, there is no repentance. Without repentance, there is no grace to change. Without change there is no growth. Only future sins to be committed, glossed over, denied and forgotten. And in the process, we don't realize how miserable we truly are - how sick our souls become.
The doctor that pointed all this out to me, the Great Physician, said He could heal me of this disease if I would come to Him with a humble heart, confess and be cleansed. He showed me that confessing my sin, rather than concealing it, would set me free. And He showed me it won't not hurt to say, "I'm sorry."
For those outside the faith, Adam's Disease is fatal. For followers of Christ, it is completely curable. So, could it be you? Could you suffer with this tendency too? My best girlfriend advice - make an appointment with your Great Physician today.
Dear Lord, today I am willing to say that I am a sinner in so many ways. And I don't like to admit responsibility for my poor choices and harmful actions. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness and empower me to live humbly in Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If this devotion struck a chord with you, you'll want to read chapter 10 - "Crave a Clear Conscious More than Clear Skin" - in Rachel's new book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know
We were made to live free from Adam's Disease! Visit Rachel's blog today to talk about it. She is also giving away a copy of her book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.
Quiet yourself in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and show you any sin problems you need to confess. Then enjoy the spiritual vitality that you'll experience afterwards!
How willing am I to admit my mistakes? To God? To my boss? To my spouse? To my friends?
Do I shift blame as a knee-jerk reaction?
Do I resist saying, "I'm sorry"?
James 4:6b, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)
© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105