Could it be You?
Rachel Olsen

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." 1 John 1:9-10 (NIV)


I remember the day I realized I have Adam's Disease. It took me awhile to notice—in fact, most people with this debilitating condition don't ever recognize it. But the best doctor I know pointed out its symptoms, and though I hated to admit it, I've frequently displayed them.

Could it possibly affect you as well?

Adam's Disease is an insidious condition that interferes with the patient's ability to grow. It does this by preventing the patient from admitting and taking responsibility for their sin. Take a look at the first confirmed case:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (Genesis 3:8-12, NIV)

What we have here is a textbook case of acknowledgement-avoidance and blame-shifting. Classic traits of Adam's Disease.

Adam hid because he sinned. He did the very thing God personally commanded him not to, and he knew it. He ate the fruit. He held it to his mouth, bit in, chewed, felt the juice dripping from his chin—and then his eyes were opened. Opened to what he had done, and opened to how miserable it feels to disconnect from God.

Trying to change the subject and avoid talking about his sin, Adam said he was hiding because he was naked. Nakedness … a lesser offense. A problem, not a sin. A state that wasn't really his fault. After all, he didn't make himself naked. God did.

And that's where the second most prominent feature of Adam's Disease kicks in: blame-shifting. After trying to minimize the severity of their sin, the patient enters a frenzied state of denial and begins casting blame. He searches for a scapegoat. God will do; other people work even better, particularly those who are not without sin either. So the patient shfits attention away from themself by leveling accusations (no matter how old) on others.

If those of us suffering from Adam's Disease are skilled orators or experienced arguers, these tactics often work for us. The problem is, we walk away from the confrontation feeling victorious rather than convicted. We actually talk ourselves into feeling self-righteous after sinning.

However, without conviction there is no repentance. Without repentance, there is no grace to change. Without change, there is no growth. Only future sins to be committed, glossed over, denied and forgotten. And in the process we don't realize how miserable we truly are – how sick our souls become.

The doctor that pointed all this out to me, the Great Physician, said He could heal me of this disease if I would come to Him with a humble heart, confess and be cleansed. He showed me that confessing my sin rather than concealing it would set me free. And He showed me it will not hurt to say, "I'm sorry."

For those outside the faith, Adam's Disease is fatal. For followers of Christ, it is completely curable. So, could it be you? Could you suffer with this tendency too? My best girlfriend advice - make an appointment with your Great Physician for a check-up today.

Dear Lord, today I am willing to say that I am a sinner in so many ways. And I don't like to admit responsibility for my poor choices and harmful actions. Please cleanse me of all unrighteousness and empower me to live humbly in Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If this devotion struck a chord with you, you’ll want to read chapter 10 – “Crave a Clear Conscious More than Clear Skin” – in Rachel’s new book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know

We were made to live free from Adam’s Disease! Visit Rachel’s blog today to talk about it. She is also giving away a copy of her book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.
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When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide to women around the world. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!________________________________________

Application Steps:
Quiet yourself in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and show you any sin problems you need to confess. Then enjoy the spiritual vitality that you'll experience afterwards!
Reflections:
How willing am I to admit my mistakes? To God? To my boss? To my spouse? To my friends?

Do I shift blame as a knee-jerk reaction?

Do I resist saying, "I'm sorry"?

Power Verses:
James 4:6b, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (NIV)

© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

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9 Comments:

What timing. I will first go to my appointment with the Great Physician today, and explore "any wicked way in me." I will have His light pour through my body and reveal my sins. then I will take His great prescription-confession, so I may be healed by His grace, and filled with his love. Then I will go to my annual physical examine-with a clear head and a clean heart.

Blogger ~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Wow.... this is very powerful, liberating and empowering. Praise THE LORD! Amen!

Blogger shannon said...

Rachel are you talking about belivers or non-belivers here? 1 John was written to the non-belivers. When we accept Jesus as as our saviour we are forgiven of all our sins past, present, and future. We don't confess our sins to get forgiveness we already are forgiven. We confess because we ARE forgiven.

Act 13:38-39 So let it be clearly known and understood by you, brethren, that through this Man forgiveness and removal of sins is now proclaimed to you; And that through Him everyone who believes [who acknowledges Jesus as his Savior and devotes himself to Him] is absolved(cleared and freed) from every charge from which he could not be justified and freed by the Law of Moses and given right standing with God. Its God's kindness that leads to repentance not the other way around. What came first in Luke 5:7-8 the blessing or the repentance. Peter saw the blessing first then he fell at Jesus feet saying depart from me for I am a sinful man. The blessing came before the repentance.

Blogger Rachel Olsen said...

Hi Shannon. Glad you commented. As beleivers our salvation does not depend on our continual confession of sin. However, our spiritual vitality does. I am quite clear about this in my book.

A believer in denial about their sin - refusing to acknowledge it to God or others - is not in danger of damnation for that. But they are not going to be walking in the fullness of the power of the Spirit of God either. That's why I say in this devotion that "Adam's Disease" prevents growth. It does not condemn a believer's soul, but it does hinder us.

I couldn't agree more that grace, forgivness and blessing always flow from God! Praise be to God for that!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual. We sin daily. Admit it or not. We live in a fallen world. We lie if we say that we do not sin each day.

We are like dirty laundry/dishes and everything else that gets dirty and needs a regular clean up.

:) Yes it could be me and you definitely!

Blogger Trina said...

Hurting so deeply right now because I have exhalted myself above the LORD and my husband...My selfishness has revealed an incredible ability to sin in ways I have never thought possible.
I don't think I just have Adam's disease I truly think I have Satan's sister disease...
How do I end this incredibly painful cycle!?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trina... I am in the same boat. Just keep your chin up and your eyes on Him. He still loves you and forgives you even if you may feel like you don't deserve it. We are human... We make mistakes. Be strong and pray hard.

Blogger Trina said...

Thank you for the kindness and encouragement...
I think my new name should be KIRBY...I'm really good at running around, vacuuming up everyone elses dirt around me, and I don't take the time to see that I'm the one that actually "sucks!"

Blogger shannon said...

But your comment - Without repentance, there is no grace to change. There is always GRACE! Jesus is grace. Grace is what causes us to change not repentance. I'm not saying we don't have sin as christians but saying we have to repent to have grace is condemnation. I'm also not saying that we don't acknowledge sin and pretend that it's not there. But when we do sin the Holy Spirit convicts us of our Righteous not our Unrighteousness so what we confess is yes we sinned but through the blood of Jesus we are the Righteousness of God. That will cause us to grow and not to sin and not heap more condemnation on us which will only cause us to sin even more and make us feel unworthy, which we are not.

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