Redeeming Pleasure

"Adam and Eve"

This topic goes as far back as the Garden of Eden. What’s interesting to me is that the first problem the Bible mentions humanity facing relates to pleasures. God created utopia for a man and woman with unlimited pleasure at their disposal. All God asked in return was that they avoid eating the fruit of one tree.

Which tree was off limits?

Our first thought might be a tree of evil, or a tree of pleasure, or a tree of life, or maybe it was just a stupid placebo tree God planted as a test. The answer is that God forbade Adam (Eve wasn’t around yet) to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Think about that for a moment. The tree wasn’t evil; it simply gave them knowledge to judge good and evil.

Isn’t that a good skill? Isn’t that what all good religious leaders and philosophers help us do? Doesn’t that describe the entire self-help section at your local bookstore in a nutshell? Isn’t that why you keep a mental checklist of the good behaviors and the bad behaviors you do each day in hopes there is more good than bad?

We learn from the opening chapters of the Bible that God never designed humanity to carry the responsibility of deciding good and evil. That’s God’s job. Whenever we put ourselves in that position, we sit in someone else’s chair.

Deciding good and evil is beyond your skill set. It was a type of knowledge God didn’t intend for Adam to have, because it was wisdom gained apart from God Himself.