When I was in middle school and high school, I was a bit taller and rounder than some of my friends. Part of that was due to my body shape. The other part was due to the fact that I really liked Twix bars. I would read about these crash diets in magazines (because the Internet was still a baby) and would attempt them to slim down. They never quite worked. I wasn’t dedicated enough (thank God!). And then there was the Twix thing too. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned how to get to and maintain a balanced weight—eat more veggies, drink water, go for walks. In other words, don’t diet, just have healthy habits. I wanted something good—a healthy weight—but I was going about it all the wrong way, a way that could have been incredibly harmful and dangerous.
*Side note: check up on the young Women Disciples in your life to see if they might be struggling with body image or diet issues.*
I’m hardly the first person to wrestle with this. Since Eve, people have wanted things—even good things—but have gone about it the wrong way. Some may say that the Fall of People happened because Eve wanted to be like God in Genesis 3:1-7. The serpent certainly caught Eve’s attention with the false promise that the fruit would allow her to know good and evil. If we read a little more carefully, we discover a different motivation. Genesis 3:6 says, “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. She also have some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.” The fruit looked tasty; she needed something to eat; she wanted wisdom.
Yearning for wisdom is admirable, and Eve should be commended for this desire. If we overlook this motivation, we miss out on an important lesson. Eve just didn’t go about gaining wisdom in a healthy or safe way, and as a result of Eve and Adam’s disobedience, sin and brokenness entered the world. Eve could have asked God for wisdom; such a request would not have gone unfulfilled. Of course, today we have the hindsight of James 1:5 and Matthew 7:11, but Eve literally walked with God in the garden. There must have been a moment or two in which she could have asked for this gift from the only One who could have given it to her.
There may be amazing things we want in our lives—friendships, romantic relationships, jobs, etc. The way we go about getting these things matter. Instead of figuring out a means on our own or forcing it, we can go to God, the One who loves us most, knows us best, and has good gifts for us. We can trust in God’s process and see what blessings God has for us. After all, eating veggies and going for walks is way more sustainable and successful than crash diets.
Movement Step: Has there been something that you’ve wanted—even a good thing—but you’ve been going about getting it the wrong way? Take a few minutes today and pray and ask God to show you what that might be. Then take your desire to God and ask for God’s guidance.