“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them.” (Genesis 1:27).
God is good. So basically, man is good because God is good. Where did man go astray? What happened to goodness?
Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden because they disobeyed God’s command. Listening to the serpent, Eve ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam heeded Eve and man’s journey began. Adam and Eve were in shame and even hid from God. How could they have chosen the bitter side? How could they have repaid God’s goodness with their heart’s contempt? Adam and Eve forgot that God is all knowing, and He sees everything.
Abel and Cain were hardworking farm boys. Abel tended his flock while Cain nurtured his plants. What went wrong? What led Cain to kill Abel? It was jealousy that turned into hatred. Abel’s sincere offering was blessed by God. Abel gave the best from his flock while Cain gave random offering just to comply. Cain’s hatred brought him to destruction. Instead of making up to give a better offering the next time around, Cain chose to take the matter in his own hands. He forgot that there is a God who sees everything.
Esau and Jacob, the twins, were both loved by Isaac. Esau was the heir apparent. This did not please Rebekah who wanted Jacob to inherit from Isaac. Rebekah tricked Isaac by dressing Jacob as the “hairy” Esau and prepared the food for Isaac. Rebekah took advantage of the blind Isaac to get what she wanted. She succeeded. Jacob inherited from Isaac. Esau, unlike Cain, chose to run away. Perhaps, Esau nursed his feelings somewhere. God blessed him for his humility. Esau prospered. Jacob prospered. So, when they met again, both were full of brotherly love. Esau forgave Jacob as Jacob asked to be forgiven.
God sees everything. He understands that we are only human, weak as Adam and Eve. Yet, God does not judge us on our emotions. It is alright to be angry. It is alright to feel bad. It is alright to express and contradict the views of others. What is not okay is when we become like Adam and Eve or when we become like Cain. What is not okay is when we choose to listen to the serpent and put God aside. What is not okay is when we act impulsively like Cain and forget that we have no right to malign, to put down, to slay, to kill, to persecute, or to oppress another person.
God created man in his own image. God is good. Therefore, man is basically good.
We go through trials, tribulations, difficulties, and challenges in life. When we let these affect our very nature or our being, then we become another person. We depart from goodness.
We become so blessed and we are showered with power, authority, and wealth. When we let these dominate our being, then we become a different person; one full of oneself. “No one can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24). It is when one becomes beholden to power, authority, and wealth that one departs from goodness.
It is not only poverty or the want of basic needs that would drive man to the road of perdition. It is also when man adores himself that he forgets that there is a God who equally loves everyone. The road of perdition is not far ahead, too.
Goodness dictates that we align ourselves to the source of grace. It freely flows from the heart. It brings about calm, serenity, well-being, peace, healing, and love. As it overflows from the heart, it nurtures other riverbeds that may also want to be watered. When man’s heart is overflowing with love, it wants nothing but goodness. It seeks to make a difference in the life of anyone. Cain failed this test. Esau and Jacob passed the test. Both were blessed in the end.