The Fruit of Choice

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“What is my go-to fruit?” I said aloud. Mangos and papaya weren’t in my thoughts.

My eyes again searched the page: “And the Lord God planted a garden…and…the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:8-9).

I saw clearly: the garden of Eden had two significant trees, one bore life, and the other bore knowledge. One produced a super fruit that transformed, activated, and energized. The other, although initially satisfying and delicious, merely delivered heightened anxiety toward right and wrong. 

I know the one for which Eve reached. Which was my first choice?

Whether we are believers or not, most people have a filter that dictates their view of right and wrong. Upbringing and experience can vastly influence our perspective on morality. When I judge by sight rather than faith, my fruit is from the tree of knowledge. Asking questions like, “Is this situation just or is it unethical?” makes my decision-making process no different than that of the world. The tree of knowledge always produces black and white fruit. 

This is obvious as the drama in our country unfolds. One has strong opinions of honesty and another on corruption. I am admittedly biased in some of my viewpoints and might argue that I am right while believing you are wrong. But, even as I acknowledge this, my hand extends toward the tree that got Eve in trouble.

My friend Celia said, “I can see the world with a right and wrong lens without even having to think about it. Being judgmental or making judgments is my ‘second nature.’ With a repentant heart, I must wait for direction from the Divine Life within.” 

How true. If I am to be light in the midst of this darkened world, I must choose to reach for a different fruit. I must choose to eat from the tree of life rather than the orchard of right and wrong. The Presence of God must influence my decisions rather than a mere decision between right and wrong. 

Does this mean there are no absolutes? No. But I’m surprised at how few unconditional laws exist in the life of the Spirit. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

Watchman Nee, a 20th century Chinese imprisoned for his faith, explains how he lives in this balance. “Does the inner life grow stronger or weaker (through a particular decision)? Does the inner “anointing” confirm the rightness of the course, or does an absence of the “anointing” indicate that the divine approval is withheld? God’s way for us is not known by external indications but by internal registrations. It is peace and joy in the spirit that indicate the Christian’s path”.

I confess to you I’m not good at this. Deciding ahead of time on my stance is much easier for me than daily approaching the Giver of Life to discuss details with Him. I’m discovering that just because I know the difference between good and evil doesn’t mean that knowledge gives me peace. I’m learning to moment by moment say, “Father, I don’t need an answer. I need peace” (or joy, love, patience, etc. Galatians 5:22-23). I’m learning to choose from the branches of life rather than knowledge.

God, I don't need an answer. I need peace Click To Tweet

This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” we might say with the disciples (John 6:60). Jesus’s response remains the same now as it was then. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). May we begin to practice eating from the tree of life. This tree bears “twelve kinds of fruit…and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations, and there shall no longer be any curse” (Revelation 22:2-3). Yes, Lord Jesus, may life be my go-to fruit.