I was thinking about the whole situation and thinking about how nice it would have been for both of them to get them in a room and help them just communicate to each other in a way that would not cause either one of them to get defensive – like he was when I asked a simple question, “Why do you think he’s so angry?
But in doing what he was doing, he was completely unaware that he was pushing it off onto me – “I’ve got to look good here and blame somebody else.” This was all an unconscious thing with him. But by taking that path, he was unable to even approach the problem. He couldn’t approach the problem. He was ready to even admit that he was a part of it. So, most of the time, when we have problems to resolve with people, it requires that we get real – get honest about what’s going on inside of us.
So, today, we’re going to look into the Bible to see what God says about the deceitful human mind and how it functions, and the effects of it, and what it’s trying to achieve – why we’re that way. And then, in following presentations in this series, we’re going to look at how to get real and think about the benefits of doing that.
Why do we do what we do? Well, I’m going to tell you a little bit about human anatomy for a minute. In your brain – right at the top of your spinal column above the brain stem – it’s actually on top of the brain stem – there’s a little part of your brain about the size of a walnut – there’s actually two on them – one on each side – one for the right, one for the left – for some reason they don’t usually refer to them in tandem or plural, but they just say, “The amygdala,” which is that part. It’s job is to take all the incoming information from the senses – the around – and evaluate it. That’s what it does. And then it creates appropriate responses, based on the information that’s coming in. I mean, if an ice cream cone is headed your way, it creates one set of responses – you know, mouth starts watering; might start lusting – but, if somebody pulls a gun on you, it would create a whole different set of responses. So one of the jobs that it does is, it scans all incoming information for threat. Is it dangerous? And, after it does the scanning, or evaluating, it then sends it to another part of the brain that’s right attached to it, called the hippocampus. And that stores all of this incoming information in memory.
So, can you think about how important this little piece of our brain is? You know, you step off a curb, look up and see a bus coming fast, the data comes up through the amygdala, the amygdala says, “Uh oh,” and it creates intense fear and it sends signals to the body to prepare to run, jump, dodge, etc. That’s a pretty easy example to understand, but that’s not the only kind of threat that it detects.
This thing – the amygdala – is like a little brain in your brain. It does so much! It has to be one of God’s surpassing feats. It’s just amazing! Let’s see it in action. Let’s go to Genesis 3. (You know, every time I read this small part of the Bible I’m just blown away by how much is there. When I think I’ve milked the last bit of meaning out of it, I read it again and a whole other world opens up.) This part is all about how it all started for us – how it went wrong, how we responded, what causes our problems, and there are even implications there about what to do about it. So let’s start in verse 8. This is after the devil talked to Eve, and she talked to Adam, and they ate of the fruit of the tree that God told them not to eat. You know, they could have any fruit of any tree, except that one, so where does he go? He goes right there. And they do, too.