Thursday, March 14, 2013

Temptation

I just love this photo of my granddaughter Marisa standing in front of this grand painting by Thomas Cole that hangs in the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk.  Marisa was an obedient little girl that day, frequently clasping her hands behind her back (as her mother suggested) so that she would not be tempted to touch any of the valuable works of art.

This reminds me of how we should seek to avoid those things which would tempt us, lest we succumb to those temptations.  It is much harder for me to say "No" to Lay's potato chips when my husband brings the bag over to the couch to munch in front of the TV, than if that same bag is safely tucked under the cabinet and out of sight (and out of my smell-zone).  Often, I groan inwardly as I grab a handful of chips from his bag and stuff them into my mouth, knowing they are unhealthy for both my cholesterol and my waistline.  Those are the times I wish I'd just clasped my hands behind my back and said "no" to the temptation.

James 1:14-15 tells us, "each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin..." 

I may be tempted by something you have no problem with at all, while you may be tempted with something that holds no interest for me.  Still, we all live with temptation knocking at our door day in and day out.  It's part of this sinful world in which we live.  Just remember -- you don't have to open the door!  The temptation is not the sin -- as the verse in James points out -- it's the giving into the temptation that results in sin.

The great temptor of all mankind will not hang up his gloves until the Lord forcibly removes them one day and casts him in the Lake of Fire.  Then, we can breathe a sigh of relief and rest in the assurance that we will no longer have to clasp our hands behind our back to keep from reaching out and touching the forbidden fruit.  Temptation, along with all sin, will be forever banished and we will be totally free and living at peace in our Father's presence.

But, until that day, remember the words that Paul wrote to the Corinthians (10:13), "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."



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