Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Temptation Awaits Us All

Chuckle: "One three-year-old's explanation for being in the kitchen atop a chair, eating cookies: 'I just climbed up to smell them, and my tooth got caught.'"
Quote: "If you don’t want temptation to follow you, don’t act as if you are interested.” --Richard L. Evans

"And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, 'God is tempting me.' God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead (drag us) to evil actions, and evil actions (sins) lead to death. So don't be misled (deceived), my dear brothers and sisters" (James 1:13-16 NLT).
In our society, there is ample reason to be concerned that many people are being deceived by the blurring of the line between right and wrong – having no absolutes. James warns us not to be deceived. People can be wrong and not even know it -- deceived and headed in the wrong direction and not see the danger. Christians are not immune from being drawn off their moral course. Temptation is an enticement to satisfy a God-given desire in a God-forbidden way. Or, seeking satisfaction of a legitimate drive in an illegitimate way. Here are some drives that are prime targets of temptation.
The desire for food: Hunger is a natural desire which can go awry and lead to overeating -- the Bible calls it "gluttony." If you said to me: "Jerry, you are overeating," I wouldn't mind too much, but if you said: "Jerry, you are a glutton!" Ouch! Obviously, we should enjoy food, but we should combine healthy eating and adequate exercise if we wish to maintain healthy bodies – as a temple of the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 6:19.
The desire for sexual intimacy: This is a drive given us by God who intended its fulfillment to be in marriage. In counseling, married couples often say: "Oh how I wish I could undo the damage, the hurt, the guilt, of yielding to a sexual temptation outside of marriage." "How I wish I had stayed sexually pure and saved myself only for my marriage partner." God can and will forgive these sins but their damage to relationships may last a lifetime.
The desire for success: God gives us the desire to prosper through faithfulness and hard work. But sometimes we get off course. If you're a student, God gave you the desire to do well on that test. But, you pervert that desire when you give in to temptation and cheat -- or when a business person decides to lie and cheat to close a deal.
The desire for approval and acceptance: We all need acceptance, understanding, and approval. However, some compromise their principles just to win the approval of their peers. This especially true for teenagers where peer pressure is a compelling force.
As parents and grandparents, we have an awesome but joyful responsibility to teach our children and grandchildren from God's Word about how to resist temptation and avoid the pitfalls of sin. The best way to teach them is by example through our godly living.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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