The look on the young teen’s face reflected angst and shame. Heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics, her success as a figure skater was unparalleled—a string of championships had made her a lock to win a gold medal. But then a test result revealed a banned substance in her system. With the immense weight of expectations and condemnation pressing down on her, she fell multiple times during her free-skate program and didn’t stand on the victors’ platform—no medal. She’d displayed artistic freedom and creativity on the ice prior to the scandal, but now an accusation of a broken rule bound her to crushed dreams.
From the early days of humanity, God has revealed the importance of obedience as we exercise our free will. Disobedience led to devastating effects for Adam, Eve, and all of us as sin brought brokenness and death to our world (Genesis 3:6–19). It didn’t have to be that way. God had told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree” but one (2:16–17). Thinking their “eyes [would] be opened, and [they would] be like God,” they ate of the banned “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (3:5; 2:17). Sin, shame, and death followed.
God graciously provides freedom and so many good things for us to enjoy (John 10:10). In love, He also calls us to obey Him for our good. May He help us choose obedience and find life full of joy and free of shame.