In the following article, guest author and Christian health coach Kiesha Easley examines the first act of disobedience in the Bible and its surprising relationship with our food addiction struggles today.
Kiesha Easley is an educator, author and Christian health coach. She struggled with chronic fatigue and her weight for years. Finally, in 2017, she lost 75 pounds naturally. She became so inspired to help others that she wrote Worth the Weight to share her story and reveal the strategies she used. Connect with Kiesha at: www.kieshaeasley.com.
When my oldest son was a baby, and it was time for him to begin eating baby food, the doctor told us to introduce the vegetables to him first. I was a young parent, so I was stubborn.
I bought some fruits also.
I remember trying to get my baby to eat some of the green mush, but when he didn’t seem like he was enjoying it enough, I decided to give him some of the fruit. I can’t remember if was peaches or pears or apples, but I remember him smacking his lips happily.
I had no problem getting him to consume most of the jar.
The next day when I tried again with the green mush, he spit it out. No matter how many times I tried to scoop it in, it kept coming back out. He was not having it.
So of course, I caved and went back to giving him the fruit.
In hindsight, with what I know now about sugar addiction, I basically gave my son his first sugar hit.
There was no way he would go back to eating bland green mush when he could have soothing sweet peaches.
I shared this memory recently with a friend as we discussed the addictive nature of sugar and why it’s so hard to kick the habit.
That’s especially true now that it bombards us in a larger volume than at any other time in history.
While our bodies do need some carbohydrates, it’s obvious that we weren’t meant to consume as much as we do now, otherwise, diabetes and obesity wouldn’t be an issue.
It was this conversation about sugar, even natural sugars, and its effects on the mind and body that got me to thinking about the forbidden fruit mentioned in Genesis that led to the fall from grace.
Why was the fruit forbidden in the first place?
All throughout the Bible when God wanted obedience, it was for a reason beyond just showing Him that we can be obedient. Obedience benefits us more than Him.
Yes, eating the fruit was an act of disobedience, but I think it was the effects of the tree that God was concerned about too.
What was so bad about the fruit we read about in Genesis Chapter 3?
I wondered if maybe it was because it was sweeter than the rest. Was it humanity’s first dose of too much sugar?
There’s no mention of the taste, other than it “looked delicious” to Eve, but the effect that it had on her and on Adam, make this idea seem plausible.
In Gen. 2:16-17 (NLT), it says:
“But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden – except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
Then later in the next chapter, after they’d eaten the forbidden fruit, it says that “their eyes were opened” and “ they have become like us, knowing both good and evil.”
These are suggestions that the fruit of that tree caused the human brain to change – they would now be able to reason just like God. A cognitive change occurred and although the other consequence didn’t immediately follow, this fruit started the process that eventually leads to death.
The Bible doesn’t identify the fruit beyond what it would do to them, however the cognitive change and death seem to support my idea that perhaps there was a substance in this fruit that God wanted Adam and Eve to stay away from.
I think that is something we often overlook, especially when we think of “forbidden fruit” symbolically rather than literally.
Yes, Romans 14:20 (NLT) says “Remember, all foods are acceptable” so we can morally eat any of the foods God made for us to eat, but there were also a tree in the Garden from which He didn’t want mankind to eat.
Consider the types of trees described in Genesis 2:9 (KJV):
“And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
That’s 3 different types of trees:
So you have trees that God intended for us to eat from freely (the ones mentioned in Genesis 1:29):
And God said, “See I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree who fruit yield whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
But then, there were those two other trees that He did not want Adam to eat from freely.
Consider what God said after Adam and Eve were affected by the fruit in Genesis 3: 22-3 (NLT):
“What if they reach, take the fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever! So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden…”
God banished them from Eden, not to stop them from continuing to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (the damage was already done), but to keep them from eating from the tree of life, so they couldn’t live forever this way.
This ultimately led to the consequence of death that God had warned against.
As I continued to consider this idea that it was perhaps a sweet fruit that they ate, I thought about the effects that this fruit had on the state of Adam and Eve’s minds.
One minute they were living a very innocent existence and then the next, they were able to see “good and evil” – like God. Could it have been because of the changes in the brain caused by the increased sugars that this fruit provided?
There are studies that have observed the addictive behaviors associated with sugar consumption that are difficult to overcome due to the way our brains are wired for survival. Perhaps, this is the altered thinking that God didn’t approve of and could have been the behavior that made God banish Adam and Eve from Eden in Genesis 3:22-23.
Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that God forbids us to eat all sweet fruit, now. However, we do have to keep in mind that it should only really be consumed when it is naturally in season – it was not designed to be available to us everyday as the grocery store makes it.
Too much of it still can cause problems. In my view, it was put on this earth to help our bodies be able to store extra fat during the winter months when food is naturally supposed to be scarce. Of course modern times has changed all of this, but our bodies still operate the same.
What Adam and Eve did is over and done with and our existence is forever changed because of it. Yes, they fell from grace, but Jesus restored it for all of us.
Although we live under grace, there are still earthly consequences to consider if we choose to eat too much or other foods God didn’t intend for us to eat.
Even if the problem with fruit wasn’t because of its sweetness, I believe God still wants us to be obedient with our eating habits because of the negative effects and consequences. He prefers that we live a blessed life. He wants us to be healthy so that we can live long and walk out our purpose.
We know we shouldn’t overeat or eat unhealthy things. We know that our health and livelihood depend on it and yet, there are times when we give in to the temptation.
We are Christians, yet some are okay with disobedience in this area.
Maybe you’re like me and you didn’t even realize you were being disobedient with your eating habits. As I began to walk out my health journey and started to feel better, I realized something: when we don’t feel well and have no energy, we can’t go out and do what we’ve been called to do.
We can’t go out and change the world for the better.
It means we won’t be physically able to do the greater works that Jesus said we would do in John 14:12. So there’s a lot more at stake than meets the eye.
Getting a handle on our eating habits may be hard at first, but all things are possible with God. I had no problem believing this as it related to other areas of my life, so I had to ask myself why didn’t I think God would help me with changing my eating habits.
The truth is, deep down, I knew it wasn’t about whether or not He would help me – it was really about what I wanted. If I was honest with myself, I realized my flesh didn’t want to change.
But ultimately, I knew change was necessary and here’s what I did to make those changes stick:
These may be the same mindset shifts that you may have to make for yourself also. Don’t let yourself be deceived.
After I started the health journey that helped me finally lose 75 pounds, I realized it was the mental clarity that I gained after healing from my sugar addiction that was the biggest benefit of all!
Severing the addiction is what enables us to hear more clearly from God and is also what enables Him to strengthen us all the more throughout the process. I know I couldn’t have done this on my own. The healing I have received from God is worth more to me now than the foods I gave up.
About the Author:
Kiesha Easley is an educator, author and Christian health coach. She struggled with chronic fatigue and her weight for years. Finally, in 2017, she lost 75 pounds naturally. She became so inspired to help others that she wrote Worth the Weight to share her story and reveal the strategies she used. Now, she helps women who are struggling learn to make the mindset and spiritual shifts needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. Learn more at: www.kieshaeasley.com
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