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Goldman or Communion

Genesis 2:25 “Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” Back when I was a trader at Goldman Sachs, I remember reading an interview where our CEO Lloyd Blankfein attributed the firm’s success to “the fact that we’re always a little bit paranoid.” Fear makes you work hard, and hard work brings results, so the logic goes. During this season, God has been good enough to grant me more space to hang out with Him. It’s something I’d been asking for and the encounters have kind of blown my mind. I know pursuing him with all my heart is the greatest commandment, and I’ve experienced how just a little dose of the Holy Spirit far surpasses the joy found in any worldly stimulus. But I must admit that I’ve felt conflicted at times. I can almost see Lloyd’s likeness poking at me “well don’t you need a bit more fear in your life? Clearly you’re not hustling enough. Get your act together!” Today I felt led to read Genesis 2 to get a sense of what life was like in the Garden of Eden. God placed Adam there to “tend and watch over it”. He worked and I’m sure he gave it his all, but it came from a place of communion, not of fear. We’ve been taught in Sunday school that nothing separated Adam and Eve from God’s presence until they bit into the forbidden fruit, but interestingly verse 25 (“they felt no shame”) provided the only direct indication I could find of what that lack of separation looked like. The Hebrew word for shame, “buwsh” can also be translated as confounding or confusion, and today I feel God reminding me that all I need to worry about is pursuing communion with Him. If I can manage to do that, the shame, confusion and guilt of wondering if I’m doing the right thing all melts away. Lord thank you for speaking so clearly. Fruit comes not from fear, but from communion with you. In the name of Jesus I reject the lies of the world. You are putting them to rest as we speak. I love you. In your son’s name, Amen.

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