God’s design is to cultivate, create and contribute to his creation. This is all done in a loving community with God. It is not surprising then that this is exactly what the enemy, the devil, wanted to destroy.
Genesis 3 is like a person who deliberately threw a black ink on a perfect masterpiece. The sad part is we are all guilty of splashing ink.
The first thing the devil did was to doubt God’s goodness to us by distorting and making us question his word (Did God actually say…?” Genesis 3:1). Then he steps up the deception by going against God and creating a tension of missing out: For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:5-6
A good God who has blessed us is now accused of hiding something from us. Mankind then, instead of being busy in trusting and obeying God to define good and evil, we have decided to take things to their own hands. They wanted that power to define good and evil, we wanted to create what we want and what is good to our own eyes. The very first sin is a slight variance of consumerism. To consume is just to take things for ourselves, it stands against God’s call for us to cultivate, create and contribute.
For clarification, God is not against consuming. He told us that he gave us plenty of food (Gen 1:30). It is the act of independently choosing what to consume instead of trusting God’s goodness that is wrong. God wants us to consume only good. But from that period on, every man and woman then has the capacity to consume good and bad things. And even worse, we also now have the capacity to create good and bad things. The first thing that Eve did was to share the bad thing she did, this is the first step away from our call to be fruitful. Adam who was next to her did not ‘work and keep’ Eve away from this evil. They failed. They sinned. We all failed and we all sinned.
From Genesis 3 onwards, we have seen a downward spiral of humanity. Man has made great and amazing things, while at the same time creating evil things. Man used to be good stewards, now we abuse resources. We were called to spread God’s goodness and blessing, now we are cursed beings spreading also curses around us.
This is not to say that man has no capacity to do good. Man still has the image and likeness of God, but is now broken. We are all broken mirrors, and broken mirrors still reflect, but not how it should be anymore. That is why we still see random acts of kindness in our world today regardless of their beliefs, but this is not how it should have been.
This is where our world’s problem stem from. This is the work of the devil, and the work of us humans. Sin within us and Satan on the outside. We have created/allowed injustice, inequality, abuse and evil. We have created sophisticated ways to hurt people. We have mistreated resources and disrespected the creation.
God’s people (the Israelites) were still tasked to continue God’s mission forward, but even they failed and has become corrupted and evil. We have all failed.
That is why now instead of cultivating people tend to just neglect their gifts, talents and resources or we tend to abuse and mismanage the things entrusted to us.
Instead of creating value people tend to just consume and get or they create something for themselves only. Worse, some try to ‘pull others down’ so that they won’t be more successful than them.
People no longer contribute because being in the receiving end seems to be easier and more convenient. On the other end, we see mankind contribute evil things in our world.
Community is also damaged in two extremes by neglecting the importance of feedback, correction, and the joy of a group of people or being insecure and trying to fit in to ‘current cliques’.
Finally, because of our sin, we tend to neglect rest and burn ourselves to work and performance and we don’t get to celebrate what we create. On the other extreme, some people tend to become lazy and unproductive.
The call to cultivate, create, contribute, community and celebrate. All of these things are marred by sin and we are being pushed in different extremes.
Read the first couple of blogs about this topic here:
The Master Artist – http://daveestrera.com/the-master-artist/
The Masterpiece – http://daveestrera.com/the-masterpiece/