For me, it started with television, magazines, and social media–that feeling that I didn’t quite measure up or have everything in my life that I desired.
The movies showed me there was a romance and passion I felt my marriage lacked. Magazines revealed a beauty I didn’t possess. Social media displayed houses and vacations I felt I could never achieve. The discontent set in.
For Eve, it started in the Garden. Suddenly, having beauty, love, and purpose in life weren’t quite enough. It seemed God was holding back on her, and there was more–a wisdom and pleasure she had yet to experience.
The Deception of Discontent
“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?”‘”Genesis 3:1, NIV 84
Eve knew God. He walked with her and Adam in the Garden (Genesis 3:8). Yet when the voice of the serpent spoke, he seemed to know what he was talking about. She bought into his lies because he told her she would be like God.
“‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'”Genesis 3:4
The reality is that she was already like God–created in His image (1:26-27). But the lie Satan offered was that it wasn’t quite enough, that there was more to be had outside her relationship with God.
The enemy’s temptation led Eve to become discontent with all God had created her to be, to enjoy, and to do. So she looked elsewhere to find the contentment she now longed for, and according to Satan, it could only be found in the one thing God had forbidden.
In our relationship with Jesus, we too have beauty, love, and purpose in life, but the enemy will often lure us to believe there is more to be had that can only be found outside our relationship with God. The temptation is to look to the world to meet our new unholy desires.
It starts with doubt. “Did God really say that we shouldn’t lust in our hearts? It’s not hurting anyone else to fantasize about a different life.”
Then we begin to distort. “Well, God wants me to be happy, so it’s okay if I indulge in these extra clothes and jewelry. The Lord will provide.”
And then the discontent grows. The more we begin to look for satisfaction in things other than God, the more we will crave. It’s a beast that’s never satisfied.
But just as Eve discovered, it’s a scam. What the world offers is a cheap counterfeit. Not only will the world’s enticements not bring us contentment, they will eat us alive with sin, guilt, shame, and confusion.
Good for Food
The fruit that looked good for food was really poisonous. Eve already had a Garden full of delicious and satisfying food (1:29).
Jesus reminded us in the wilderness that man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God (Matthew 4:4). When we seek to satisfy our cravings with anything other than God, we will be left disappointed.
Pleasing to the Eye
That lush fruit that seemed pleasing to the eye was actually rotten and distorted. There was no beauty to be had in partaking of something God had forbidden.
When Satan attempted to make the kingdoms of the world attractive to Jesus, He responded that we should worship and serve only God (Matthew 4:10). The truth is that Jesus already owned all the kingdoms of the world and had authority over them, but He would be subject only to the Father.
When we look to the world to meet our needs, we are stating that God is not enough, that we need something outside of what He has already given us.
Desirable for Gaining Wisdom
When Eve heard that the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom, what she didn’t understand is that not all so-called wisdom is welcome. Their eyes were opened, but in a way that made them no longer innocent. They became aware of the depravity of sin.
Eve felt God was holding back something good from her, but God had already given all she needed.
When Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself off the temple to prove He was God, Jesus let him know He had nothing to prove (Matthew 4:7).
God has already proven Himself to us by sending His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8). He has not withheld anything we need, so we have no reason to test Him.
Beauty, Love, and Purpose
Just like Eve, we are already beautiful. We don’t need more clothes, makeup, or surgeries to make us more like the image we see in the world. We need to surrender to the Holy Spirit so His beautiful fruit will bear forth in our lives (1 Peter 3:4-5).
Like Eve, we have perfect love. There is no greater love than one who would lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Jesus has proven His love to us in His sacrifice on the cross. He has nothing left to prove. No earthly relationship can meet all our needs and satisfy our desire to be loved. Only Jesus can do that completely.
And like Eve, we have purpose in life. Our purpose is to know God and to make Him known (John 17:26, Matthew 28:19-20). That’s all the wisdom, power, and authority we need.
The next time we see a house better than ours, a spouse other than ours, or anything else the enemy whispers we need outside what He has freely given us, we can be reminded of Eve’s loss of fellowship with God in the Garden.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”Genesis 3:8
She and Adam lost everything to gain what they thought looked better.
Jesus lost His life to gain for us what is truly better.
Don’t trade what God has so richly given to settle for the enemy’s cheap substitute. Don’t listen to the lies that pull your heart away from God. It’s a scam and a trap. It looks pretty, but it’s all a lie.
Find your contentment in the beauty, love, and purpose of a personal, growing relationship with God. That’s all you really need to be content.