Making a mistake is critical to improving. The mistake reveals what went wrong and how to improve in the future. The world is filled with two classes of people: those who mostly learn (if at all) from their own mistakes, and those who mostly learn from the mistakes of others. Learning from the mistakes of others is not only less painful, but much more efficient. You get the benefit of the improvement without suffering the loss of the mistake. Our lesson this week is about the mother of all mistakes - the fall of humans into sin. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see what valuable lessons we can learn from the mistakes of Adam and Eve!
Genesis 3:1-15; Matthew 4:3-10; Colossians 2:20-23; John 3:17; Revelation 14:6-7
No one likes to be lied to. Whether it's a salesperson, repairman, family member, or friend, we want people to tell us the truth.
To aid readers in uncovering potential liars, Forbes.com published these "10 Ways to Tell if Someone is Lying to You."1
Watch Body Language: As a 20-year veteran of the New York Police Department, Derrick Parker says to look for physical clues-especially sweating or fidgeting.
Seek Detail: Former CIA officer, Lindsay Moran says that liars' stories will often lack details. So push them for specifics. The more trivial details they have to provide, the more likely they are to mess up.
Beware of Unpleasantness: "Liars are noticeably less cooperative than truth-tellers," say psychologists Bella DePaulo and Wendy Morris. "Liars also make more negative statements and complaints than truth-tellers do, and they appear somewhat less friendly and pleasant."
Observe Eye Contact: Both Parker and Moran say that if someone fails to make eye contact with you, it's often a sign of deceit.
Signs of Stress: DePaulo and Morris both agree that dilated pupils and a rise in vocal pitch are more common in liars than honest people.
Listen for the Pause: When most liars are forced to make up a story on the spot, they'll need to pause and collect their thoughts.
Ask Again: An investigator will often ask a suspect to repeat their story and listen for inconsistencies. But psychologist Robert Feldman urges caution: "Smart people maintain the consistencies of lies better than dumb people."
Beware Those Who Protest Too Much: If someone consistently tries to prove to you that they are honest, they very well may not be.
Know Thyself: Feldman believes that many listeners don't actually want to know the truth, so the liars succeed. He encourages people to be honest with themselves about what it is they really want to hear.
Work on Your Intuition: DePaulo and Morris write: "Good human lie detectors, if there are such persons, are likely to be good intuitive psychologists. They would figure out how a person might think or feel if lying in a particular situation, compared to telling the truth, then look for behavioral indications of those thoughts or feelings."
If only Eve had read these 10 suggestions before listening to the serpent! But he was "more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" (Gen. 3:1). He began by making conversation with Eve, drawing her in by asking questions. From there he moved to making God out to be uncaring and unfair, and finally to disagreeing with God-assuring Eve that she wouldn't really die.
Satan is just as cunning today. We have God's truth, just as Adam and Eve did. And it's our choice-as it was theirs-whether we allow ourselves to be deceived.
The judgment that God predicted did come to Adam and Eve. Yet with judgment came the Creator's grace. God revealed to them the plan of salvation beyond the Garden. A plan that includes us!