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the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

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i went to a Beth Moore conference [surprising, huh?] a few years ago in Vegas. actually, it was a "Deeper Still" event that included Kay Arthur and Priscilla Shirer, along with Beth Moore. i remember so vividly a point that she made, about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. it wasn't even the purpose of her talk, but it was a side note that stuck with me more than the actual message.

we tend to think of this tree as the one that held the forbidden fruit that eventually introduced original sin into the world. God commanded Adam and Eve never to eat of that tree. anything else in the Garden of Eden was free for their enjoyment, but not that tree. the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

how often do we eat of that tree ourselves, today? anytime we share a juicy bit of gossip, we're inviting our friends to eat of it, aren't we? anytime that we push and prod for more details when a friend is confiding in us, "so we know how to pray", we are eating of the tree. we crave the knowledge of good and evil.

you see, it's not a concept that as left behind in the garden all those years ago. the very thing it represents is such a strong temptation for us still today. we want to know all the details of the neighbor's divorce. why? not really sure, we just want to. we feast on gossip sometimes, don't we? we watch the news because we want to know as much as we can about the latest child abduction. why? just because we want to know. we want to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. and the implications are just as deadly as they were in the garden, the consequences may just take a little longer to develop.

i would encourage you, next time your appetite heightens, take a minute and step back from the situation. is this knowledge going to be beneficial to you or the person it is about? will it be productive or destructive to you, or to others? are you just hungering for more gossip and disguising it with your desire to pray for the person? remember, God doesn't need us to know the details of a situation before we can pray. He already knows everything and the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us, with groans that we can't even understand.

let's be careful that we don't fall into temptation to eat of the tree. not all knowledge is productive or beneficial for us. even when the details of a situation or event may directly affect or involve you, it may not always be best to know every little thing. will it cause you to become bitter, angry, resentful, unforgiving? maybe it's best not to know about it, in that case.* when you have the choice to receive or not to receive information, please consider, prayerfully, all the consequences that just knowing something can have on your mind and your heart. it is not always good and not always necessary. sometimes it's okay to be oblivious to certain things, and sometimes it's okay to stay out of things that aren't your business. even things that are your business, be very careful what you ask for.

there must be more to this concept than we really comprehend, if it was the one tree in the whole garden that God commanded Adam and Eve to stay away from. it's something has stuck with me for all these years and because of the destructive ways that my mind works, i know i need to make a better effort to consider it before i ask all the details...

* i want to add here that i'm not advising you to act dumb, or remain naive about things that may be vitally important for you to know. i am strongly urging you, from experience, to stop and pray. God is faithful and He will show you if there's more you need to know. but sometimes the details are just hurtful and don't have any fruitful place in your mind and heart. He knows. just ask Him, and then obey as His spirit leads.


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