I love returning to the Garden of Eden narrative because it depicts humanity’s most essential dreams and fears in a simple, poetic manner. Adam and Eve wrestled with their trust in God’s promises when the serpent tempted them with the idea that God was withholding something from them in the form of forbidden fruit, and that by eating it they’d become like God. For the first time humankind contemplated the thought that what we had, both with God and with our resources, was not enough.
Adam and Eve sinned, and their relationship to resources was at the core of this sin. The story tells us that humankind would thereafter work the earth and it would resist producing. We wrestle to this day with this issue—getting the results we desire from our work, and receiving from our efforts what we think our labor is worth is a problem as old as time.
In the midst of all their fear and hiding, the Lord walked toward them and asked, “Where are you?” They responded, “We’re afraid because we heard you coming.” They named their fear.
Consider how your relationship to resources, your money, has caused you to hide, whether from God or others. Is it a tough topic, one that causes tension, fear, or shame? Are there areas or topics in your finances that are off limits? I’d respectfully ask, “What’s your fear?” Perhaps, as with Adam and Eve, naming your fear will lead to a closer relationship with the Lord, and with others. When it comes to money, what’s your fear?