What if you’d been Eve? Would you have given in to Satan’s temptation? After all, she lived in Paradise with every possible need being met. Her husband was the best-looking guy on the planet, and she didn’t have to worry about her wardrobe or having a bad hair day because, as far as Adam was concerned, Eve was perfect just the way she was.
I have no idea how much time ticked between Adam’s rib being transformed into a woman and the snake slithering up to her in the garden. What I do know is that there would have been fewer ticks of the clock if I had been in Eve’s skin. (I’m simply basing that on how easily I’ve allowed Satan to trick me, tempt me, and throw me off course.)
There in the garden you and I became cursed with wanting things our own way and making our own decisions rather than continuing to be cared for by the One who longs to take us to all the best places. The desires hardwired deep within each of us mutated in just a matter of breaths. Our desire for an intimate friendship with our Creator got replaced by a longing for more. More control. More possessions. More pleasure.
Thankfully, Jesus reversed the curse of Satan and became the model for loving God and loving people. His life demonstrated a life of reversal.
Eugene Peterson in his Message translation places some of Jesus’ most profound teachings into one broad category. He calls them The Great Reversals. Maybe you remember these:
- Want to find your life? Lose it for Jesus. (Matthew 10:39; 16:25)
- Want to be first? Be last. (Matthew 19:30; 20:16)
- Want to become great? Be a servant. (Matthew 20:26-27)
- Want to be exalted? Be humble. (Matthew 23:12)
I’ve come to appreciate the term Great Reversals since I’m seeing how I’ve done things backwards most of my life. Instead of dancing freely in the grace of Jesus, I tried to pay my own way to the dance. Instead of allowing God the privilege of determining desires for me that glorify Him and bless others, I selfishly created my own. Rather than doing things for people out of my love for them, I realized I mostly just craved a little affirmation and encouragement. Change is hard and slow. Even though it’s a sluggish process, I recently decided that every crumb of frustration that leads me back into the lap of Jesus is totally worth it.
I can honestly say that by going back and taking a hard look at where I’ve been, the mistakes I’ve made, the events that marked my life, and learning how to recognize the triggers that take me back there have reversed the curse Satan spoke over me.
Please let me speak frankly with you for just a second. If you have something painful in your past (or happening in your present) don’t be afraid to talk about it. Be courageous. Find a counselor if you need one or a trusted friend who will listen. Jesus listens really well! For me, just talking things through is the best medicine. Yes, sometimes reliving hurtful things makes us feel worse for a while, but the detox eventually reaps great benefits! If nothing else, those who love you will learn more about you and discover ways to love you better. When you feel well-loved, you learn how to love others well. By the way, loving well is code for serving. 🙂
Take a few lessons from Jesus this week, and go for a drive in reverse.
“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever want to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served – and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”Matthew 20:26-28, The Message