Thursday, October 13, 2011


I often get the burdensome privilege (yes) to speak to people, young and old, about things they are struggling with.  Temptation to act in a way that they believe to be wrong - which, by definition, means it is wrong... but that's for another day.  I am qualified to speak to people about such things only because I too am tempted constantly; as Paul said, "I'm the biggest sinner of them all"

The most common temptation for males of any age, any weight, any profession, any family life, any ____, any anything, is lust.  It can be severe lust that manifests itself in extramarital or premarital sexual affairs, it can haunt through pornography, it can force eyes to wander, or it can control ones thoughts just inside their own head.
I once was counseling a young man about his troubles with lust while assisted by an older and much wiser gentlemen.  When the young man asked when the temptation would go away, the other gentleman who was with me simply said "it wont."  He went on to add "I am tempted everyday.  Sometimes in a big way, sometimes simply in my own head, but the temptation is always there.  It's a constant battle, a constant struggle"

Our advice to the young man (and our advice to each other and to ourselves) was to avoid, deflect, and be resolved before hand - though being resolved beforehand is essential, it is also rarely enough.

What do you struggle with?  If we're honest, the lists are long.  Thankfully we serve a God who loves unconditionally.  A God who knew us intimately and bought us anyway.  A God who doesn't sit on a throne unsympathetically looking down with judgement, but one who has experienced temptation himself and who knows our struggles and knows our faults, failures, and short comings and calls us "saints" and "holy".  We serve a God who showers grace through the blood of his own son, his son who fully know us.

We must remember a few key things about temptation, of any kind:
Jesus Was tempted.  Not that Jesus scoffed off the absurdity of it, but that he (his human nature) was tempted.  That's number 1.
Number 2 is that Jesus did not act on his temptation - though he was tempted, Jesus did not "follow through", so-to-speak.
3:  Jesus was tempted (see number 1) And Jesus never sinned (I believe this to be 100% literal and emphatically true), ergo temptation, on its own, is not sin (/sigh of relief).
4.  Jesus 'defeated' his temptation and his tempter (the same temptations and same tempter that we have) not by using (even his) his own words, not by rationalization or attempting clever logic, not by asking for clarification on the particulars or classification on the "how bad" scale, no, he responded with Scripture.  God's Holy word, and scripture only.

Temptation is a part of life.  It simply is, and anyone who tells you it's not just gave in to the temptation to lie....

Build one another up.  Support one another.  Pray for one another.

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