God must sometimes chuckle as he views our attempts to cover ourselves.
Recently I discovered our cat was using our formal mahogany dining room table as a scratching post. When I noticed it, I became livid. I grabbed my furniture polishing kit, retrieved the Old English Scratch Cover, and went to work. While it covered the scratches, it didn’t remove them. The cat’s claws had extracted part of the wood, leaving indentations behind. I covered, but I couldn’t remove.
Fig leaves were Adam and Eve’s scratch cover. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7 NLT) After they disobeyed God’s command, they immediately noticed something they hadn’t before: they were naked. Shamed over their sin, sewing fig leaves together was their attempt to cover their sin scratches. I’ve done the same.
I’ve discovered fig leaves of projection won’t cover sins of unforgiveness. Projection is attributing to others unpleasant—and in many cases sinful, attributes I have that I’m unwilling to acknowledge. It’s speaking negatively about other people’s unforgiveness when I’m the one who needs to fess up.
Nor will fig leaves of displacement cover the sin of unrighteous or misplaced anger. Allowing my wife and kids to experience what I may feel toward an ill-mannered and uncooperative boss doesn’t work.
Neither can I cover my unhappiness with the fig leaves of overwork. I must remove the leaves and uncover the root cause.
I can also attempt to cover my lack of initiative in life by throwing a continual woe-is-me pity party. That only makes others avoid me.
Fig leaves didn’t work for Adam and Eve, and they won’t for me. Sins are only covered by Jesus’ blood of forgiveness. Other emotional issues also need his comforting cover, and I can always trust him to make an appropriate cover for me as he did for the first couple.
What are you trying to cover your sins or emotional challenges with?
Prayer: Father in heaven, guide us to Your loving arms for the cover we require.
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