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November 28, 2021 | Ed Stetzer
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“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”—Genesis 3:6 (NLT)
Have you ever talked yourself into something? This is a smart investment . . . But it’s really not. That chicken looks cooked enough . . . But it really wasn’t. I can take him. But you really can’t. I am totally pulling off these boots . . . But you really don’t.
Every day, we convince ourselves to do things we have no business doing . . . and sadly, those things aren’t always as innocent as whether or not to eat a questionable piece of poultry.
In Genesis 3:6, we see the process of convincing oneself and justifying. Here’s how I imagine it playing out:
Eve sees the tree . . . That is one fine looking tree! How can something so beautiful be bad?
Eve sees the fruit . . . Dang, that looks delicious. There’s no way something that tasty looking can kill me.
Eve remembers the serpent’s words . . . It would be nice to be like God, to know everything He knows. How can I go wrong in becoming like Him?
According to the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (emphasis added), “Her imagination and feelings were completely won; and the fall of Eve was soon followed by that of Adam. The history of every temptation, and of every sin, is the same; the outward object of attraction, the inward commotion of mind, the increase and triumph of passionate desire; ending in the degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul.”
So, we’re told that Eve essentially talked herself into taking and eating the fruit. But what about Adam? There is some debate amongst theologians and scholars as to Adam’s overall presence and role in the unfolding of it all.
Some believe Adam was not present during the temptation of Eve and showed up just in time to be convinced by Eve to partake. Others, including the original audience and Jewish tradition, believed, as theologian John Gill wrote, “Adam was with her all the while, and heard the discourse between the serpent and her, yet did not interpose nor dissuade his wife from eating the fruit.”
In the end, though, does it really matter? Whether he was there all along or not, he still ate of the fruit, too, which means he also had to have convinced himself to make the choice to disobey God.
The lesson for us is clear: When we entertain temptation, when we give it an inch, it tends to take a yard. When we give it an opening, it tends to end “in the degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul.”
DIG: Have you ever talked yourself into something you know you shouldn’t have done?
DISCOVER: Why do we do this? What causes us to go through this process before acting?
DO: Is there an area in your life where you’re currently justifying your behavior? Have you convinced yourself to do something you know stands in opposition to the truth of God’s Word? Spend time in reflection and prayer. Ask the Lord to forgive you and help you turn that area of your life over to Him.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.