IN Genesis 3:11, God asks Adam a pretty big question: "...Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?" Wow, what do you say to that? I mean you can lie to God, but you won't get away with it. You know God knew Adam ate from the tree, right? God knows everything.

            ADAM'S response to God's inquiry tells us a lot about our human tendencies when confronted by our sin. He said in Genesis 3:12, "The woman you put here with me, she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Right off the bat I see two tricks Adam tried to play with God. Ones I've tried as well.

            THE two tricks Adam tried to play here are feign innocence and then point fingers. Note Adam said, "The woman you put here with me, she gave me some fruit..." You see when cornered about sin we only have a few options: Take it like a man and blame the wife; fess up and ask for forgiveness; or try to play it off like it was no big deal.

            FEIGNING innocence is a trick played by so many when caught in a sin. It is interesting how Adam said to God, the woman gave me "some fruit". Oh, O.K., so it was just "some fruit." I can almost see Adam trying to shrug it off... "Hey, nothing to see here God." I don't know why we struggle to understand that the Lord is all knowing. We can't hide from God or fool Him, and we can't throw our hands up and say, "I have no idea what you're talking about." If your face is covered in cookie crumbs it won't work to tell God you were at the beach. What God wants us to do about our sin is found in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

            POINTING fingers was the other trick played by Adam and by so many others when caught in a sin. He said to God, "...The woman you put here with me..."  Genesis 3:12. Did I read this right? Did Adam just blame God for his sin? O.K., so if God hadn't then he wouldn't. How convenient Adam.

            PEOPLE often fool themselves into thinking if it had not been for that "special" circumstance, or particular situation, or that bad person, they would have never done anything wrong. Wrong! Nobody "makes" us sin, and quite frankly, no one needs to. I seem to "fall" there easily enough on my own. Another excuse of many people is, "It's not my fault, God made me this way." This all sounds reasonable, but when I sin, it's me. It's not God's fault, my family, friends, or the fact life isn't fair. As James 1:13-14 tells us, "When tempted, no-one should say, 'God is tempting me.' for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." You see, it's me who sins and it is myself who must answer for it and no one else.

            SO what do we do with our sin? First of all we know what sin is by the conviction of the Holy Spirit: John 16:8, "When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment." Many in the world see conviction by the Holy Spirit as a bad thing but it really is quite a blessing. Conviction is like pain: No one really likes pain, but without it we would do ourselves severe harm and damage. Pain actually deters us from injury and so it is a wonderful blessing. The same is true of conviction. We need to be convicted so we stop doing damage to our lives and repent before God.

            THE other way we know we've sinned is by a guilty conscience. A hurting soul is actually a good thing. It means we are still sensitive to God and understand right and wrong. These are all positive signs of growth in Jesus. So many in the church see sin as a set back (and it is) but if our heart is hurting after we sin then it's not all bad. But woe to those who sin but can easily move on without too much grieving. This can lead to a seared or calloused conscience and eventually a reprobate mind (depraved or disqualified). This comes to those who refuse the Holy Spirit's conviction for so long that He leaves them and they are lost for good. All this can be avoided by confessing our sins. "Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."  James 4:8