The Lord God commanded him, “You may eat the fruit from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat the fruit from the tree which gives the knowledge of good and evil. If you ever eat fruit from that tree, you will die!” (Genesis 2:16–17 NCV)

There’s a saying that mothers repeat to their children: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Is that really true? Apples are the way to good health? What is it about an apple that could so magically influence one’s immune system? I’ve eaten plenty of apples and still needed healthcare, so I doubt the statement; but, it turns my mind toward the most infamous fruit of all time. It grew in the garden of Eden and set off the indigestion to beat all indigestions.

Now, I know that the fruit we read about in Genesis 2 wasn’t necessarily an apple, even though Renaissance artists often painted it that way and other traditions suggest it was. It could have been a plum, a pomegranate, an orange, or some fruit that has never grown on another tree. What if it was a cherry, or a grape, or a fig? (After all, if Adam and Eve had fig leaves to make clothes in the garden, there must have been figs.) It doesn’t matter, though—the issue is what the fruit and the act of eating it represent.

What do we learn from these two verses contained in one of the most familiar stories in all of human civilization? First, God knows what is best for you. Second, there are consequences to not following His instructions. Putting both if these together, we should realize that our bad outcomes are self-inflicted because we want what we want, and we want it now. That gets me into trouble just like it does you. We’d rather eat the apple than follow instructions. If we willingly eat one of those apples everyday, then, yes, maybe it will keep the Doctor away when our fellowship with the Great Physician is not what He wants it to be.

On the other hand, maybe there’s a better apple. Maybe today “an apple a day” can represent a nutritious diet of the Bible, prayer, discipleship, and serving others. In that case, we can change our rhyme to “an apple a day keeps the Doctor from going away.” The Great Physician doesn’t leave you (or forsake you) once you’ve invited Him into your life, but it’s your daily faith diet that ensures you’ll keep Him close for the strength you need.

- Jeff Russell

E-KardíaGram: Sports Performance Edition is produced by The Kardía Foundation in association with Athletes in Action Sports Performance © 2018 The Kardía Foundation

We connect the Christian faith and healthcare, equipping Christian healthcare workers to integrate their faith and practice.

Contact: This electronic publication may be forwarded in its original format with proper credit given. Written by Jeffrey A. Russell, PhD, ATC

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