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Myers: Pull of forbidden fruit still haunts us to this day

POSTED: December 27, 2008 5:54 p.m.

There’s nothing so tempting as forbidden fruit. Or forbidden toys.

We were at my parents’ house. Toys were spread out all over the floor. Chloe had her choice of any of the toys in the room, but her attention fell on a single box in the corner. It was one of my nephew’s toys, something that used interlocking pieces to build towers. The box was pretty and colorful. The picture on the outside of the box made it look like the toy would be a lot of fun to play with.

But the toy was for older children. The game had a lot of small parts (can you say “choking hazard?”) and I could just imagine those little pieces causing more trouble than they were ever designed to once Chloe got her hands on them.

I called Chloe away from the box in the corner. I turned her around to face all her toys on the living room floor. “Play with those toys, not the one in the corner.” A few minutes later, however, she was back in the corner, reaching for the box when I stopped her. “Chloe, you can’t play with that toy. Come back over here.”

Chloe wouldn’t give up. She kept looking at the box. Every few minutes she’d scoot a little closer to it.

I knew what she was doing and decided to put a stop to it. I called her over to me and with a grand sweep of my arm I indicated all her toys in the middle of the room. “You can play with any of these toys, but you cannot play with the toy in the corner. If you go over and try to play with it, you’re going to get in trouble.”

I paused. Something about those words sounded familiar. Then it hit me. They were basically the same words God spoke to Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:16). God wasn’t talking about a child’s toy, though. He was talking about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Just like Chloe, though, Adam and Eve could not, would not, did not stay away. Satan tempted, and they ate (Genesis 3:1-7).

It seems that after nearly 6,000 years, human nature hasn’t progressed all that much, has it? We’re still tempted. We still want what we cannot have. We still strive to attain it, giving no thought to the consequences.

Our heavenly father knows the consequences. The consequence of our sin was the death of his son. Thankfully, though, the consequence of Jesus’ death was our salvation.

But God didn’t stop there. He also gave us the holy spirit. The holy spirit resides within believers, doing with us what I did that evening with Chloe. As she got closer to the temptation, I reminded her it was wrong. I called her away from it. I warned her of the consequences of her actions.

The holy spirit warns us against temptation, calling us away from sin and warning us of its consequences. Sometimes we listen. Sometimes we don’t. Chloe listened to me that evening, and I was so proud of her.
When the holy spirit warns you against temptation and sin, do you listen?

Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs every other week in Sunday Life.


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