On the sixth day of Creation, the Lord gives instructions to Adam.
The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 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.”
God placed Adam in a perfect environment, the Garden of Eden, and he gave Adam the responsibility to work the garden and to take care of it. His only rule: Adam could eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Rather than physically preventing him from eating, God gave Adam a choice and thus the possibility of choosing to disobey.
Why would God place a tree in the garden and then forbid Adam to eat from it? God wanted Adam to obey, but he also gave Adam the freedom to choose. Without choice, Adam would have been like a prisoner, and his obedience would have been hollow. The two trees provided an exercise in choice, with rewards for choosing to obey and sad consequences for choosing to disobey.
God still gives us choices, and we, too, often make the wrong choice. These choices may cause us pain, but they can help us learn and grow and make better choices in the future. Living with the consequences of our choices teaches us to think and choose more carefully.
Every day we face numerous choices, many with moral and ethical considerations: what to do with gossip we’ve heard; how to respond to an irritating customer or coworker; whether or not to face the facts and tell the truth; financial pressures; sexual temptation . . . Often we know that God wants us to go one way, but we desire to go another. When you are faced with a choice, place your desire before God, and ask him to help you choose well.
In each choice today, ask, “What does God want me to do?” If you know the answer, do it. If you don’t know the answer, ask him to show you . . . then do it.