The Tree of Good and Evil

The Tree of Good and Evil

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…” Gen. 2:17

Fake news, alternative facts, fair and balanced, liberal media agenda, CNN: The Clinton News Network, etc… The list of catchphrases goes on and on. Each one, in its own way, calls into question the integrity of the news we read. It leaves my head spinning in confusion. Where can a person find authentic news, not opinion, but facts void of extreme bias?

A friend on Facebook recently posted a chart evaluating news sources. The chart had three vertical categories: high quality, mixed quality and low quality. It had seven horizontal classifications with the middle being neutral. On either side of neutral, it went from leaning to hyper-partisan to garbage the farther you moved away from the center. It was really helpful. Now, I just have to find out if it is accurate.

In response to this post, others started sharing similar assessments. Not all of them were in agreement, but trends started to develop. As a result, I found a guide to base my judgment of the news I read.  Now that I have a news sources to depend on, I can go about determining good and evil. It would be nice if someone could just draft a chart for that one, too.

God must have been thinking the same thing when “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” was placed in the center of the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, it’s the one tree God forbid anyone to eat from its fruit. What’s so bad about knowing good and evil? How can we judge without the knowledge of what we are judging?

We are forbidden from this knowledge specifically so we do not judge. Those who judge have no need for a God. Instead of judging good and evil, our efforts should be placed into determining faithfulness. Not just a personal faithfulness between you and God, but a broad view of faithfulness.

What does being faithful to God’s creation look like? Where can I put aside my personal preferences for the good of others? What are those things we cannot put to the side? Faithfulness understands what is good for me, might not be good for someone else. It invites dialogue and mutual exploration to help us understand what is life for all. Ultimately, life for all is God’s greatest desire.

Click to read: Genesis 2: 4b-17

Reflection Questions:

  • Where has something good for you been evil for someone else?
  • What personal preferences can you put aside for the benefit of others?
  • How often do you engage in conversation about life with people who do not share your views?
  • What is the difference between judging good and evil and faithfulness?

Photo Courtesy of and Sean Brown

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