Friday, May 20, 2016

Another Side of Temptation

Chuckle: "A three-year-old's explanation for being atop a kitchen chair, eating cookies: 'I just climbed up to smell them, and my tooth got caught.'"
Quote: "A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission." --Marcus Aurelius

"Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it" (James 4:17 NLT). "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (NIV)
In the last two lessons on temptation, we have focused on Satan tempting us to sin by doing something that is wrong. However, there is a more subtle type of temptation that we see in our basic passage. Satan often tempts us not to do something we should do in the same way he tempts us to do something we should not do. You may have heard the phrases, "sin of commission", which is doing something we know we should not do; and sin of "omission," which is failing to do something that we know we should do.
When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, his Spirit comes to reside in us and our lives are transformed. ". . . those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT). God, through his Word and Indwelling Holy Spirit, begins to reshape our consciences so that we understand what is wrong that we should not do, and what is right that we should do. To do wrong or fail to do right is sin.
Most of us give far more attention to sins of doing wrong (thou shalt nots) than to sins of failing to do right/good. But temptations not to do something can be both subtle and destructive in a Christian's life. In the same way that it is a sin to lie, it can also be a sin to know the truth and not share it to someone who needs to hear it. It is a sin to speak in an evil way about someone, but also it is a sin to avoid that person when you know he or she needs your help and friendship. We should be willing to help as the Holy Spirit guides us. If you sense God directing you to do an act of kindness, render a needed service, or to restore a fractured relationship, do it. Not only will you avoid sinning, but such actions will result in great blessings for you and add a fresh vitality to your faith.
As a teacher, you may yield to the temptation not to spend the required time in study and prayer necessary to lead a quality Bible study -- and your class members are short-changed because of your negligence. You know what you should have done but didn't do it. Such temptation can come to a person in any position of leadership in the church or any Christian who fails to do what he or she knows God desires.
Paul said, "Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others" (I Corinthians 10:24 NIV). "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3 NIV). If we keep the welfare of others uppermost in our hearts and minds, we will be sensitive to people's needs and be motivation to help meet those needs. Read Matthew 25:31-46 some time for a better understanding of the good things we should do for others, and ultimately for our Lord.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home