God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Genesis 3:9,10
In our men’s accountability group, we have learned that if someone stops coming, he has likely returned to whatever defect brought him in the first place. When someone in recovery relapses, he faces the choices of confession, lying or avoiding. Most of us just avoid.
I have been there. When I struggle, I avoid those who would ask me about it. When I overeat, I avoid the scale. In my worst disasters, church makes me sweat. I do not want to look in the mirror, much less face God.
This is the condition in which Adam and Eve found themselves in today’s passage. Having eaten of the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened to their shame and nakedness. When God came for His afternoon talk, they tried to hide. Guilt-ridden, they ran from God.
Often, in our failures, we compound the problem by repeating Adam and Eve’s mistakes. Just when we desperately need God, we turn from Him. In our shame, we avoid reading, praying or facing God. Church is a little hot for the guilty conscience.
Like Adam and Eve, we attempt to cover our guilt with lies, justifications, or anything that can distract us from dealing with our sin. As it is too painful to actually change, we just try to camouflage or hide it.
Just as it is my daily choice to pursue myself or God, when I fail, it is my choice to turn to God, or to run. This is not just in my drug addiction of yesterday. This is about my ongoing addiction to all-things-me. When I fail, I must discipline myself to take my failure to God. Returning and confessing to God can initially be painful, but refusing to address my sin never makes it better. It just causes more pain.