Lingering Gaze

Journal Entry // January 4, 2022

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6 ESV

I always find this story of Adam and Eve so helpful in understanding how easily sin comes into my life and corrupts everything in and around me. There is a lot in this chapter to contemplate and reflect about God’s law as a hedge of protection and my response, but this morning I just want to focus on this final giving in to sin. I want to think about my own battle with sin and the lies I believe.

The first step (in this portion) down the path of sin is a lingering look at temptation. Eve not only listened and engaged with the enemy, she looked intently upon the temptation and allowed it to captivate her. She began to lust and covet that fruit of temptation until it manifested itself in the consummation of reaching out to take hold.

I see this same process in my own life. There is some temptation that catches my eye and I linger with this same look. I become entranced with this temptation and gaze longingly upon it. Just like Eve, I too convince myself of sin’s good qualities (good for food), sin’s beauty (delight to the eyes), and the advantages of sin (make one wise). Fixing my eyes upon sin with a lingering gaze will always lead me down this path. It’s a simple matter to let down my guard and be deceived or rather I deceive myself.

The second step after deceiving myself is to actually partake of the sin. It’s never enough to just gaze and think about the potential sin. Oftentimes I believe the lie that I can keep it all in my head. That sin can touch my thoughts, but will stay there. Neatly separated from the rest of my life. I convince myself that sin is so minor that I can be in control. But that sin never stays the same size or in the place I allow. If I bring it into my mind, it will ultimately seep into my heart. It will affect my actions. It will corrupt my very soul.

When I set my eyes on temptation and sin, the first deception I believe is that I am in control. Eve’s motives are purely self-centered. I too believe the lie that I control the sin and the sin doesn’t control me. I fall for this lie each and every time.

The cure… I need to remember the heinousness of sin and the beauty of God. All the things that went through Eve’s mind about sin as she gazed upon the fruit are true only in Christ. He is my food to feast upon. He is beautiful and a delight to my eyes. He is the source of wisdom alone. So I am to fix my gaze on Jesus and look upon him. He invites me to come and feast with him at his table. The true table of joy and love.

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