Whether you believe you have evolved from primates, been created by an all powerful God or whether you really don’t know (or care) either way, there is no disputing that each of us have individual personalities, individual influences and individual capacities for good and evil. At our most real, we are like buckets made from glass, slowly filling with sand as each year of our lives passes us by. Our overall inner-disposition and character dictates the colour of the sand – for some of us, it may be one colour; for others, it may be a multitude of colours. The sand itself represents both our more likeable traits, and those that are altogether less…magnetic. For example, a few years ago, the sand in my bucket would have been almost purely green. My jealousy of the people around me was so pure that it clouded many of my decisions. Nowadays, there is still a hint of green, but a whole host of other colours have seeped through. When we are truly ourselves, our transparent bucket containers show everyone exactly what is inside. The good, the bad, the cliched ugly. I’d be a liar if I told you that I’ve never painted the outside of my bucket to portray something infinitely more pleasing than what was lurking on the inside. It can be so easy to do…especially when things aren’t going the way you’d planned or when we don’t have confidence in who we really are. Why would we want people to see our anger, our jealousy, our lack of self worth or our hatred anyway?
As far as my own beliefs go, I’d have to tick the ‘been created by an all powerful God’ box. And when that God created the first man and woman, I believe their buckets would have been spotless and shimmering with unobtainably (by human means) pure, white sand. The Bible says that they felt no shame; that means no shame about the way they looked, and no shame about the way they acted. There was nothing to be ashamed of. They were made in God’s image! Until, that is, the serpent came to tempt Eve:
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Here we see Adam and Eve fall from the purity that they were created with. The sand in their glass buckets was suddenly awash with dark colours; that awareness is something that has stuck with us ever since. We called it ‘Original Sin’.
Over the many years since that moment, we have tried (and failed) to return our sand to it’s purest white, settling merely for those warmer colours that pass as ‘acceptable’. The Bible says that the only way to become our most pure is through God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus came to the world as both fully man and fully God and died on a cross for us, so that we could be put right with God and receive eternal life. Through His crucifixion, he paid the price required for our sin – so that every grain of sand that isn’t as white as it could possibly be, would be returned to its intended colour, and we would spend eternity in Heaven.
What do we need to do in return? The Bible says we need to believe in Jesus Christ. Then we need to scrub off the paint on the outside of our buckets, acknowledge the darkened, dirty mess that’s on the inside and turn from it. At that point, God can begin the life-long cleaning process within you.