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Insights from Genesis 3 - Part 4

4. Pleasure and Peril of Sin

Genesis 3:6, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”

Do you know why we people love to commit sin? Because it is pleasing, alluring and exhilarating. When the woman saw the fruit of the tree it seemed irresistibly pleasing to her eye. I think she did not eat the fruit immediately after looking at it. She gazed at it and the more she had intent look at it the more it appealed to her. She couldn’t control herself anymore from eating the forbidden fruit and finally gave in to the trap of sin. Eve stands as an example of how one can be deluded by the fascination of sin, failing to see beyond its pleasure. Someone rightly said, “Sin will always expose to you, the pleasure that lies immediately in front of you, it blinds to the destruction that lies ahead of you.” Sin is attractive but destructive too; it is fascinating but also devastating.

Now here is a caution: If Eve was fascinated towards sin in her sinless state what about us who battle with our sinful nature? Don’t dwell on something that is forbidden. To do so is to get captivated by it. Sin is such a powerful force that once we are caught in its lure we are left defenseless to resist. Therefore, beware of yielding to the cravings of the eye, for it comes not from the Father but from the world (1 Jn. 2:16). Jesus said, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34). Yes, our eyes direct our body. The eye is the organ whereby we look at something and signals the mind to think and move; the body becomes active by the mind to feel and act accordingly. I think we may abstain from committing most of the terrible sins if our eyes become blind.

For this reason Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away” (Matt. 5:27). What did he mean in saying this? Did he say to literally pluck our eyes? Certainly not! In his paraphrased Bible “The Message” Eugene H. Peterson translated it well, “If you want to live a morally pure life, here's what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer.” I know by experience that to turn my eyes immediately from the pleasure of sin is like plucking my eyes; it’s really painful. However, this is what I have observed: To resist sin is painful for a moment but fruitful thereafter; to yield to sin is pleasurable awhile but proves perilous later. So, i
f our eyes are caught up in a sinful sight we have to instantly turn away and focus on something that is good (Phi. 4:8). Eve’s eyes were caught by the pleasure of sin, eventually leading her into peril.

Friends, if we fail to discipline the way we look at things with our eyes the power of temptation becomes uncontrollable. What do we do when we look at things that are pleasing to our sight? Did we school our eyes and mind? How do we look at magazines, television, women, men, unwanted material things, forbidden objects…etc? Many are in pursuit to get what is seemingly good, pleasant and desirable to their eyes and consequently getting into misery and heavy burdens. It's true that sin is fascinating and luring, but it is also true that it is dangerous and destructive. Sin is quite attractive but by yielding unto it, we put ourselves into its ugliness. Ah, sin has pleasant lips with poisonous teeth!

It was Samuel Smiles who said, “Sow a thought and you reap an act. Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.” If I am permitted I wish to put at first, “Sow a sight and you reap a thought.” Sight and imagination work inseparably to cause feelings and actions. Take a note, what we watch is what we catch; what we catch is what we hatch. If we don’t control the way we look at things what we look will take control over us.

(To be continued.....)

(Previous reading - Part 3)




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