“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Genesis 3 changes everything. It’s in that infamous chapter that Satan tempts Adam and Eve to do the one and only thing God had asked them not to do—to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had given man “only one no in a world full of yes.”¹ But Satan tries to convince Adam and Eve to believe the lie that this one “no” must mean that God doesn’t have their best in mind and is holding out on them. Here’s how this climactic moment plays out:
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Gen 3:6).
Here’s the question for us as men: Where was Adam in this critical moment? Where was Adam when his wife was being tempted by Satan? You might want to believe that he wasn’t around when it happened, that maybe he was out hunting for food or building something. Unfortunately, the Bible makes it clear that he was right there “with her.” Silent. He passively stood there while his wife was under attack by Satan. In a moment when he could have spoken up and stepped into the situation and acted courageously to protect his wife, he just stood there with his manhood pants down.
Men have been living in Adam’s shadow ever since. Rather than being strong dads, men often just stand there. Rather than being loving husbands, men often just stand there. Why is it that so many men are so decisive, focused, and effective in areas of life that don’t really matter, but tentative, uninspiring, and passive in some of the areas that matter most? It’s as if passivity is in our DNA. And that if we don’t actively fight it, we’ll default to being passive.
Where does passivity reign in your life? Is it at home? Or with your finances? Or in your career? Or with your wife or girlfriend? Where are you doing nothing when you should be doing something? Where are you being silent when you should be speaking up? Authentic men reject passivity. They refuse to live in the shadow of Adam and instead choose to fight for what truly matters most. They find their strength in the grace of Jesus and follow His example of rejecting passivity—ultimately by coming to earth to rescue us.