Life At Its Best: God wants to meet you where you are
By By Jim Graff
March 7, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 6, 2014 at 9:07 p.m.
"Start thinking for change."
My dad used this phrase on me often. He worked at PPG Industries, where his job was to make products better. He was well aware that improvement required embracing new and better ideas and processes.
I knew by saying "Think for change," he was actually reminding me, "You're not always right." He knew I couldn't see everything clearly on my own. He encouraged me to embrace better perspectives that would lead to better outcomes.
In Genesis 3, God reminds Adam and Eve of that same truth. Through this story, He teaches us to embrace a better perspective of both forgiveness and redemption.
In the beginning, God made Adam and Eve a beautiful garden to live in. It had everything they'd ever need. He only commanded that they not eat from one specific tree.
One day, Eve was tempted by Satan (in the form of a serpent) to eat from the forbidden tree. After some resistance, she gave in and convinced Adam to eat as well.
Because of the sin they committed, their eyes were opened to their nakedness, and they felt ashamed. They knew they had disobeyed. They quickly hid behind bushes, hoping to avoid God, but the bushes didn't keep Him away. God called, "Where are you?"
This passage shows us how different Adam's view of forgiveness was from God's. While Adam was fleeing from Him, God was seeking him out. He felt his sin was beyond God's ability to forgive, so he distanced himself. But God continued pursuing him.
He showed His intention by asking, "Where are you?" He could've asked, "What did you do?" But He wasn't interested in condemning him for his mistake. He simply wanted to meet him where he was.
Our view of sin is often similar to Adam and Eve's. We question whether God's forgiveness is enough to cover what we've done. We feel the need to distance ourselves from Him or from other Christians because of mistakes we've made.
But God has called us to embrace a better perspective - His perspective - of forgiveness. We must live convinced of His power to cover every wrong.
After God found them, He told them their sin would bring consequences, but He also made a promise.
He told Satan, "I'll cause hostility between your offspring and hers. He'll strike your head, and you'll (Satan) strike his heel." In the Bible, striking someone's head is a sign of authority over them.
By saying future generations would strike Satan's head, God signified our power over Him. He redeemed us from living under the enemy's curse.
That promise still holds true. So let's work on adopting His perspective - not only of forgiveness but also of redemption.
Let's refuse to see ourselves as slaves to sin, not allowing our mistakes to distance us but instead allowing Him to find and forgive us right where we are. God's perspectives always lead to better outcomes.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit faithfamilyvictoria.com.