When the woman saw that the fruit was good . . . she took some and ate it. (Gen. 3:6)

“WHEN IN DOUBT, do without.” My dad drilled this phrase into my head as a child. Of all the lessons he tried to teach me, this is the one I remember the most. It’s just five simple words, but the truism has so much meaning and application for a variety of life circumstances.

God was crystal clear in His command to Adam and Eve—under no circumstances were they to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was no gray area, no parable to misunderstand, no verse to take out of context. It was black and white. And yet they still doubted God’s word, and, in turn, made a choice they would regret.

Fortunately God didn’t leave us lost at sea without a life raft. He gave us the Holy Spirit, who warns us when we’re treading on thin ice and convicts us when we’ve sinned. When we’re walking in God’s will and obeying His Word, we will have peace. But when that peace is absent, it’s a good time to reevaluate and listen to what may be God’s Spirit prompting: “When in doubt, do without.”

Examine in your own life how you respond to God’s Word when you have doubts.

Rebecca Aarup studies at Liberty University and enjoys leading small groups in her church and mentoring other women.