It’s easy to armchair-quarterback Adam’s failure in the Garden of Eden.
Why did he allow the enemy to deceive his wife? Why didn’t he anticipate the danger? Why was he so passive in the face of the enemy?
Each of us imagines we would have operated differently. We would have recognized the danger immediately, right?
Before we treat Adam too critically, we should consider the danger in our own environment. How are we responding to the attacks on our land, our families, and our relationships?
Psychology professor Dave Grossman studies human aggression and the psychology of humans in combat, and he suggests that people fall into one of three personality types.
“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath – a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.”
Adam approached the situation in the garden as a sheep. He failed to protect and defend against the threat, and he invited sin into the world.
Later, his son Cain would become the first wolf, killing his brother Abel out of jealousy.
Although Grossman’s work addresses our military and law enforcement, I believe it applies to Christian men as well. True followers of Jesus have no place being passive, powerless sheep or sociopathic wolves when Satan is working around us to get a foothold in our lives.
He lived His life in sharp contrast to others: standing in as protector and defending His people. Even today, He continues to fight our battles.
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
2 Thess 3:3
There’s no doubt that Jesus’ character matches Grossman’s description of the sheepdog. He is both warrior and hero, intent on protecting, defending, and fathering his people. He seeks those who are hurting, suffering, oppressed and lost, and He sacrificed everything for them.
The Last Adam came to accomplish what the First Adam could not. While the First Adam was motivated by self-preservation, the Last Adam came to protect His people.
Jesus stands in the gap where Christian men fail. But given that we all fail, we should view that as an encouragement rather than an indictment.
We are called to stand and defend those around us, but we do so with the strength of Jesus on our side.
We have a land to protect; relationships to defend; people to save. And we have an enemy to fight.
Take stock around you:
The men of Junto Tribe understand that it’s difficult to stand as a sheepdog in the world, but we believe it’s the path God calls us to.
God is seeking warriors, and we want to be those men.
In a world of sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs, which path will you choose today?