The story of Adam and Eve “partaking the Forbidden Fruit” has been illustrated in countless euphemistic ways. So much so, it has almost become a fable. But in the true Biblical context, when we look at the original story, the emphasis is not on the fruit, but rather on the name of the tree that produced it.
It was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. You could also call it the Tree of the Understanding of Right and Wrong. Creation’s first couple was tempted in to believing that they desperately needed what the tree had to offer. They were convinced somehow that life would be incomplete without it, that their very survival depended on perfect knowledge of good and evil and a keen understanding of right and wrong?
And that is exactly what they received. Adam and Eve gained a keen understanding of right and wrong. They received a perfect knowledge of good and evil. But there was one small problem. They possessed neither the perfect Love or the perfect Wisdom to know how to handle it. Even more damaging was an ever-present innate understanding of the way things should be based on a perfect world they no longer had possession of.
As their descendant, we have inherited the same keen understanding of right and wrong, the same perfect knowledge of good and evil. And just like Adam and Eve, we also do not have perfect Love or perfect Wisdom to handle it. Their dilemma is the same as ours, in that we are constantly bombarded with an innate understanding of the way things should be in a perfect world we don’t live in ether. Therein resides the primary torment we all walk around with.
You see, the Fall in The Garden was not only the genesis of disharmony and disconnection, it was also the origin of false ideas, false promises, and more importantly, false standards. In so many words Satan deceived Adam and Eve with the same three lies he deceives us with today.
The first is, “You’re not being treated fairly.” This is the genesis of judging other people’s actions by a standard other than God’s love. When our experience with others becomes in-congruent with our standards or the intuitive understanding of the way things should be, it produces a judgment. In other words, when our standards of how we think we should be treated based on the knowledge of right and wrong are not met, we judge it as unfair. We then make vows that, given a similar situation, we could show perfect love and wisdom just like God. But have you ever considered that the entire concept of “fairness” was a lie perpetrated on mankind by the father of lies? Fairness was originally introduced by the enemy as an accusation against a loving Father. When we become preoccupied with fairness, we run the risk of agreeing with an accusation against God.
The second is, “You need to posses something more than you presently have.” This is the genesis of judging our circumstances based on a standard other than God’s love. A good friend once told me, “It is not so much the events that happen to us, but rather the judgments we make in response to those events that cause our lives the greatest difficulty.” When we measure our circumstances against a standard void of God’s love, we naturally make judgments about those circumstances, and ourselves, in a manner that is void of God’s love. His love for us is seldom a variable in the equation of our inductive or deductive reasoning. Oswald Chambers said, “No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things.”
The third lie is, “You are not good enough as you are.” This is the genesis of judging ourselves based on a standard other than God’s love. Too often we make someone else the benchmark that we measure our life against. We substitute that person for God. Can you say “Idolatry?” The first century church in Corinth was apparently struggling with a similar temptation, which prompted the Apostle Paul to correct them by stating, “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12) In my book “5 Easy Steps to Life Changing Prayer,” I tell the story of how this lie caused me years of pain and how God’s love helped me overcome it. I also share what God taught me about the stumbling block of making other people the standard for my own life.
A lot of people spend a lot of time trying to nuance the universe to fit a set of standards they believe will deliver peace, life, rest and security. But in the Garden, before The Fall, all needs were met perfectly by the Love and Grace of God. Adam and Eve soon realized that the promise they were promised could not deliver what was promised because it was never designed to. Ideas concerning fairness, justice, standards, right and wrong introduced torment, disharmony and destruction.
There is a standard worth attaining, however. There is a longing that can be fulfilled. But the standard is Love. The longing is connection to the Lover of our soul. We don’t need more from the world or from people. But we do need to pray about how much faith we are putting in ideas and concepts that have been perpetrated on our soul, things that cause torment, disharmony and destruction. Most importantly, we need to ask for a restored life. so we can know The Father the way Adam and Eve did, they way Jesus does.
Learn more on how to reconnect with Love and disconnect with false standards in my book, 5 Easy Steps to Life Changing Prayer , available now on Amazon in paperback and E-book.