I would like to share something with you that is very close to my heart. I thought that the best way to tell this would be to start with a familiar story that happened a long time ago. The story is found in the Bible in the book of Genesis chapter 3. This is the story of Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3 says, The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.
So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
You see what Eve didn’t realize was that the serpent had tricked her “BIG TIME” by getting her to believe that God was keeping her from living a better life. But he didn’t stop there. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the serpent made them feel ashamed for doing something that he had suggested. Then, after they felt ashamed rather than admitting that they both had disobeyed God, they began blaming it on someone else. They took on a characteristic of the serpent himself by pointing out what was wrong with someone else rather, than taking responsibility for their own actions. Here you see the beginning of the game created by the serpent also known as Satan. What a horrible game that was. But, if you look a little closer you can see that he (Satan) is still playing the same game today.
Although, this is hard for me to admit I too, have fallen into the trap of taking on this particular characteristic of The Fault Finder. I am the type of person who loves to do things the right way. And I prefer to do it the right way the first time. Not the second time or the third time around but the first time. This is where I can become my own fault finder. If I do something right, then God must be pleased with me. If I do something wrong, then God must be upset with me and I blame myself. Then, I react by saying, I need to work harder by praying and doing more of the right things. The result is that I am trying to be righteous in my own strength.
This can be a very dangerous place to be in and let me tell you why. There is another side of fault finding. Let me give you an example of it in my own life. There have been times in my life where I have done something wrong and I have made the effort to correct it. But even after I have corrected it, I still find myself feeling condemned. Then when someone comes along and they decide to point out my faults, or what they believe I am doing wrong I start to react.
At first, I start to feel embarrassed. Then, I go from feeling embarrassed to getting upset with that person for pointing out my faults. I then start to find fault with them. But, the reality of the situation is whether their judgment of me is wrong or right I need to go to the Lord and deal with it. If I don’t that offense with myself and with that person can start to seep into every situation. Then, I find myself beginning to find fault in everything and everyone around me.
Now, there is one more thing that I would like to share with you about the fault finding game that Satan tries to pull over on us. This one is a lot more obvious. I am sure that more than likely you have experienced this at one time or another in your life. The number one place that this game can be found is in the church. There has been an unspoken rule placed in the church. The rule is that the church (people who are a part of Christ’s body or who want to be a part Christ’s body) should consist of people who are perfect. There is no room for mistakes. There is the feeling that whether you are a sinner or a saint you must do everything right. If you don’t measure up, then you’re out!
But then Jesus in His graciousness gave me a revelation. Which I will have to share with you next week in part 2 of the Fault Finder. So Stay Tuned!