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Temptation: “But it sounded like a good idea at the time…”

We will pick up where we left off last time at James 1:13. when we are in the midst of our trials, we will be presented with different options of what to do. In the middle of a struggle, these options sound exceptionably reasonable. Here are some examples of what I mean. “Well I have been studying really hard this week, so it will be ok if I just go get drunk tonight because I deserve it.” or “Well I have not been able to pick up a girlfriend/boyfriend in a really long time, so it will be ok if I just make out with him/her this one time.” As a more general example, there are always times when we know something is wrong or sinful, but we do it anyways because we “deserved it” or it “made my life easier” or any other false justifications that we make up all on our own. In other words, we all face temptation during our trials.

My first reaction to this was “Well if God is intentionally putting us through trials, then does that mean he is intentionally tempting us with evil?”. If that was not a ludicrous enough statement on it’s own, we can read James 1:13 to see what James’ response to this question is. We should not blame God. He will test you, but he certainly will not tempt you. Using the example from last time, a coach will test you to make you a better player, but he will not tease you with things that would hinder you, and the same goes for our parents. So now the question is, if God is not tempting me then why do all the sinful ideas present themselves in a time of struggle? James 1:14 says they come from our own personal desires, not from God or anyone else. In fact, the temptation stems from us believing that our God is not a good God because we think the un-Godly way out will be better/easier than the Godly way of dealing with our trials. This shows a complete lack of trust in God on our part when we choose the “easy” way out.

The last point I want to make is that James 1:15 says when we give in to these desires, we are giving birth to sin and that sin gives birth to death. Every time we make a decision to give into temptation and wordly desires, we are killing ourselves a little each time spiritually. Also, for a few more pieces of advice from James about how we should deal with our struggles, read James 1:16-18. I feel they are pretty self explanatory, yet very important.

Any thoughts? Additions? Comment below!

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