“I saw all the people who were mistreated here on earth. I saw their tears and that they had no one to comfort them.” Ecclesiastes 4:1 (NCV)
| ||When my relationship with God isn't right, it also disconnects me from everyone in my life and causes relational distance and discord. || |
Why is there conflict in the world? Every day we witness conflict between races, nations, political parties, genders, generations, religions, friends, and family.
Solomon, Israel’s wisest king, noticed this too. He summed up his observation in today’s verse from Ecclesiastes by saying that people aren’t nice to each other. They really don’t care about each other. They abuse each other, misuse each other, lie to each other, and manipulate each other.
Is that God’s plan? No. It’s the result of sin in our world. Why does God allow this? Because he gave people free choice. Unfortunately, people choose to do stupid things and hurt each other and pretend they don’t have problems when they really do. These broken and messed up relationships cause a lot of hurt in this world. As Solomon observed, “I saw their tears and I saw they had no one to comfort them” (Ecclesiastes 4:1 NCV).
It all started with Adam and Eve. When they rebelled against God, their sin disconnected them from him, but it also disconnected them from each other. The first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned was sew some clothes to cover themselves.
How is it that being disconnected from God causes me to want to cover up? How is it that when my relationship with God is out of whack, I don’t want you to see the real me? When my relationship with God isn’t right, it also disconnects me from everyone in my life and causes relational distance and discord.
Like Adam and Eve, when I start to hide from God, then I start to hide from the other people in my life and cover up. The intimacy is replaced by fear and distrust.
Adam and Eve “suddenly felt ashamed of their nakedness so they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves” (Genesis 3:7 LB). And there’s been a cover-up going on in relationships ever since.
What’s your fig leaf? What are you pretending is not true about you? What things in your life are you afraid to share with other people?
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
© Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. Used by permission.