Getting Your Mind in Order to Forgive
Obedience to God’s Word comes with a choice just as much as disobedience does as well. Your choice to forgive comes down to your choice to choose obedience to God’s Word. In the Garden of Eden it is written in Genesis 3:15-17 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (NIV) Notice carefully at this point that 1) God commanded Adam, 2) Eve was not yet created. It wasn’t verse 21 that Eve was brought to existence.
Genesis 3:21-22 reveals Eve’s debut: “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (NIV) It must be noted the order of events because there has been incorrect blame placed on Eve when she was not given the order by God. Keep reading.
It is important to recognize this because the level of obedience a person has will be based upon their understanding and knowledge; and if one is truly to be obedient to God in full it will definitely require knowing His Word and not some other misinterpretation of it. As such; Eve was deceived into disobedience by her choice of ignorance but also because Adam, who was given the command, did not rise to the occasion and intercede. His choice of disobedience caused the fall of humanity and was the first downfall of marital leadership and headship of man. It is equally important to recognize how easy it is to be disobedient and another reason of support to know the Word so as to not be deceived. In Genesis 3:1-6 it tells us “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What is interesting to note is that the serpent was more crafty than all the animals the Lord made; and it was the serpent who deceived Eve. Perhaps she would not been deceived by a pug or Koala bear; but alas the serpent was there. Eve was also at a disadvantage because she was not given the command of what to eat or not to eat; and she would not have had enough wisdom on her own to know to ask what she could and could not eat. The level of assumption is curious. Perhaps she too did not know what it would mean to have her eyes open; yet obviously the serpent did and took appropriate steps to cause her to be disobedient. It is similar to unforgiveness in the way that the enemy will cause thoughts contrary to God’s Word to justify keeping unforgiveness; although scripture commands otherwise. As the story continues we read, starting in verses 6-7: “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 gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Eve made the choice to look at the fruit. She liked what she saw and she made a choice to act upon it. Because of her level of ignorance she fell; and humanity went right along with her. What people do not truly grasp is how the mind can be a trap of disobedience if not recognized and renewed in accordance with God’s Word in Romans 12:2. Adam disobeyed the direct order of not eating from the specific tree; yet his mind was not in right alignment because he went along with the Even to be disobedient. He made the choice to elevate Eve above God. Similarly; a choice to not forgive is one that causes a fall; and those around the unforgiver lose out as well. It is vital to pay attention to what you are looking at and to know the scripture the way they are written in order to not be deceived by any serpent who brings purposeful misinterpretation for a false outcome.
The more disobedient one is the more his or her eyes and heart are open to sin and the nature of bondage that comes with it. There is never freedom in sin. There cannot be because that would mean that without Christ there is freedom; and there is no such thing. So long as the mind is prepared to be obedient fully to the Word of God; there are less chances of falling and failing to a lifestyle against God and one of rebellion. And we can simply look around and see the turnaround that must take place for full freedom to reign once again.