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Temptation Helps Us To Do Good (Day 26)

on April 24, 2012

We tend to think of temptation as something bad or immoral, when in all actuality temptation is anything that deters us from doing what’s right, no matter how small or big it is.  And the funny thing is we think temptation is around us, when in fact, it’s in us.  Desire, followed by doubt, deception and disobedience, are the four components that take our thoughts and desires to full blown temptation.

However, I recently learned that it’s not a sin to be tempted.  You’re probably looking at this like “What’s this chick talking about?!”  Here’s the thing: the sin lies when we’ve made the choice to act on what’s tempting us, which ends up throwing us into personal seas of guilt, self-blame and degradation.  This chapter encourages us with the fact that every temptation we face gives us the opportunity to do good and to become stronger in our faith journey.

Each temptation we face is a stepping-stone for us to choose to do the right thing versus the wrong thing.  For example, a person gets fired from a job and everyone believes they know the reason(s) why.  These reasons become rumors, which have an energy all their own.  You can A) come up with your speculation to add to the rumor mill, or B) make the choice to avoid it all together and let the truth come forth.  Most people usually roll with option A to feel important, which tends to add fuel to the proverbial fire in the office.  Yet, God desires for us to choose option B in order for us to develop more like Christ.

In order to develop like Christ, we must understand the fruits of His character, which are described in Galatians 5:22-23: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  This fruit develops slowly, just as we do. 

With each temptation we face, God develops these fruits by allowing us to experience temptations that enable us to express the opposite of what we would normally do.  Let’s take the fruits of peace and patience and dissect them for a minute. The Lord teaches us how to be patient by placing people in our lives that drive us batty, or lead us to a situation where everything is jagged.  With each instance, any of us would complain, quit or even go off on God.  The Adversary loves it when we’re in this position because we wind up playing the blame game, or go around in circles losing focus on the One who can help us. 

When it’s all said and done, the true purpose for these experiences is to get us to a position where we MUST depend on Him to teach us, help us and ground us successfully.  The way we learn this is to refuse to be intimidated by the temptation, recognize what thing(s) tempt us, and most importantly, ask for God’s help.  He delights when we call upon Him to help us in times of trouble.  The epistle of James reads, “God blesses the people who patiently endure testing.  Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, NLT)  Let’s go for that crown, shall we?

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