On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 112: Adam and Eve (9/18/16)

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘you will not die’.” (Genesis 3:4  RSV)

What do Adam and Eve have to do with stewardship? Well, they have everything to do with not being good stewards! They were not the stewards God wanted them to be. 

Surely they started out doing what God asked them to do and likely were very happy with taking care of all that God gave them. And they were blessed by being in continual communion with Him.

Wow! Can you imagine, walking in the presence of God every day and talking to Him?

Adam and Eve had it all. They were made in God’s image, lived in Eden (Paradise), which was lush and green and without thorns and thistles to contend with, so tilling the soil was effortless as well as enjoyable.  They labored and played side-by-side in perfect harmony.

Unfortunately, for some of us the response to the above would be, “Whatever!” Is that so much different from what Adam and Eve eventually thought? Although they had everything that they could ever want, they took life for granted, and sought more.  They wanted to be God. But, they wanted “their stuff.” They desired to be gods more than they desired to be in communion with God. Their humanity and personal desires preceded God’s ever-present and eternal love.

Hmmm. Does that sound familiar? Are we doing the same thing Adam and Eve did? If you are honest with yourself and, you should be because your eternal salvation depends on it, you would say: “Yes.”  House, cars, boats, entertainment, television, computer games, sporting events, and vacations all precede our love of God. Many come late to church and leave before the final prayers to take your kids to sporting events or other entertainment; again the priority is not God. We watch television instead of working in the ministry of the church or even attend evening services or adult education. We want what we want, not what God wants for us.

Self-love is the root of all evil thoughts. Self-love is what Adam and Eve exhibited in the Garden of Eden.  Just look at the result of their self-love - sin and death. Oh my, what will be the result of your self-love?

Our loving God gave us time here on earth to work these things out and prepare ourselves for eternity.  Unfortunately, He did not give us unlimited time, we will all die. The ancient Roman phrase memento mori ("remember that you have to die”) are words we should heed. At the point of death, God will call upon us to “show me (Him) your heart and to whom or what it belongs.”

 This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

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