Where did it all go wrong?

Why do we lie?  Why do we pretend?  Why do we wear make-up?  Why do we wear clothes?  Why aren’t we happy for everyone to see us as we truly are?

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

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?’

10 He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’

11 And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?’

Genesis 3

In the garden, when all was well, the first humans enjoyed the innocence of nudity.  Not some low-budget smut, but the wonderful obliviousness of children running through the hose in the garden. There was nothing to hide: no embarrassment, no shame, no desire for privacy or secret guilty thoughts. 

But as soon as the man and woman crossed the boundaries that God had set, they realised their nakedness and followed the instinct to cover up.  In doing so, they drew away from each other and from God.

Then God enters the scene, walking in the garden on His way to visit His image-bearers.  He comes for relationship but finds them hiding. 

The first consequence of human sin is seen in this distancing.  Cracks appear in the relationship and things only get worse from here. 

This is why we lie and pretend.  We follow our ancestors’ example and try to hide that we have fallen short – we cannot even be as good as we want to be.  We draw back from each other and from God in an attempt to cover up the truth of our failure.

Putting it into Practice

  1. Consider the way in which our society undervalues innocence, mocks virginity and scorns the person who says ‘no’. Notice how often we are encouraged to try anything, give it a go, without regard for the consequences.
  2. Mourn the loss of human innocence.  Take time to acknowledge how little all our so-called wisdom has accomplished and ask for God to protect us from ourselves.