Life Lessons: Eve: Part 1
“There is one vice from which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves…There is no fault which makes man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. The vice I am talking of is Pride.” ~C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
If you did a random street survey about the first time humans sinned you would probably get something about an apple, snake or maybe disobedience but I doubt the word pride would be brought up. Yet, pride seems to be at the root of all sin in some form and I know from personal experience that pride enjoys disguising itself as other issues which can make it difficult to detect. C.S. Lewis makes this point in “Mere Christianity” when he speaks of how we easily see pride in others but not ourselves. He goes even further to call pride an “acceptable” sin which is so true! Isn’t that just like a sinner to divide sins into acceptable and unacceptable? We compare how bad we think our sin is and take PRIDE in how we aren’t as bad as the next guy. In fact, Psalm 36:2 says just that, “In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.” Man, do we have our wires crossed!
This first sin moment occurs in two scenes. In the first we see Eve and Satan having a chat and in the second we see the repercussions of that conversation. In Genesis 3, Satan approaches Eve with a question… “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Satan isn’t an originator but rather an imitator who likes to take the truth and alter it just enough to be deceptive. If you look back in chapter two you can see that the Lord only mentioned one tree from which they couldn’t eat but Satan was looking to sow discontentment and so he set it up to make Eve doubt the truth and goodness of God. Think about the times in your life when Satan has gotten you to question God. Doesn’t it typically revolve around your plan being better or more fair or more enjoyable than what God is offering? I know that always seems to be the case in my life. Satan helps me start with the comparisons which leads to discontentment then questioning God and ultimately sin. All of the sudden, I think I have a better grasp on my situation than the Creator of the universe.
As the conversation goes on we see that Eve doesn’t actually know or maybe doesn’t remember the Lord’s command. She responds to the serpent with a twisted version of what was said in chapter 2 of Genesis. She states that the Lord said she couldn’t touch the tree which isn’t true but that lie set Eve up for even more discontentment, after all, why would the Lord be so unfair? Also, this moment reinforces the truth that pride leads to forgetfulness. Have you ever noticed that when you want something desperately you can lose sight of all the blessings you already have? Think of a child who wakes up on Christmas morning with only one toy on their mind. No matter how many wonderful gifts they open they can’t help but be disappointed if that one isn’t among the others and don’t we do the same with blessings and prayers? So, often our discontentment makes us forget all that the Lord has provided. In fact, Satan can convince us, like Eve, that God is holding out on us… that He’s trying to keep the best for Himself which is an insane thought. Like God would gladly sacrifice His only Son for us but would keep other good things for Himself. Satan’s good at making us forget the reality of the truths we know. Eve lost sight of all the delicious and beautiful things she had access to in the garden because all she was worried about was the one from which she couldn’t take.
Just like in our lives, Satan works on Eve’s mind before he convinces her to follow through with the physical sin. He presents her with the same issues that he presented to Christ in the fourth chapter of Matthew and it’s the same way he presents it to us. He appeals to our flesh. “What do I want?” Food, a car, money, men? He then appeals to our eyes. “That’s beautiful and I want it.” Once again, this can be material things or people but as I grow in my relationship with the Father I find that often Satan uses the “eyes of my heart” to make me just as discontented over beautiful things that are felt more than seen. Finally, he appeals to our need to be better than others. We want to know more, to be more in control, to “deserve” more than others. It all goes back to comparison and the pride that comes along with that process. Essentially, these three questions push us to the center of the universe in our minds and that is the foundation of all other sin.
As we wrap up the first part of Eve’s story, I find myself amazed at how obvious Satan’s tricks are and yet, how often I fall for them. I know so often you hear people criticize Eve for the chaos she started but let me tell you… if I was in her spot I’d have fallen for the serpent’s tricks then because I still fall for them now. Next time we will look at the fallout from the conversation and some ways we can protect ourselves but in this moment ask the Father to open your eyes to the pride and resulting sins that are currently in your life. Ask for the wisdom to know how best to flee temptation and be willing to follow through with His plan.