We have a beautiful black Labrador of about six years old. When he was younger, we just couldn’t teach him to wait before he eats a treat, but over the last year or two he has managed to resist the temptation. He waits obediently until the command comes and then gobbles up whatever is before him. The best part of the whole exercise is watching him while he waits: when we put something down before him, and tell him to wait, he literally turns his head away and looks in the other direction so that he cannot see the treat waiting for him.
This reminded me of temptations in our own lives. Today’s verse explains to us that the temptation alone is not the sin, but what we do with or how we react towards the temptation can give birth to sin. Our Labrador made this process so practical by not looking at the temptation before him, and by doing that, it was easier for him to resist.
We are faced with temptations every day and in almost any situation. Our desires also play a part in this, as mentioned in James. What could be tempting for one person, might not be a problem for someone else. It is therefore important to know our inner selves and to allow the Lord to show us whenever wrong desires are growing in our minds and hearts. He knows every temptation we are faced with. We read in Hebrews 4:15 (AMP): ‘For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.’
Let us not use today’s scripture to judge others and point fingers, but let’s learn from these words of wisdom and allow the Lord to look into our hearts and show us where we have made wrong choices along the way. If we have given in to wrong desires that led to sinful actions, we can still turn to the Lord and just be real with Him. We can share our hurts with Him, ask Him to forgive us and bring restoration. In Matthew 12:20 we read what the Lord says about Jesus: ‘He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph, and on Him all peoples will put their hope’ (GNT).
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for sinful actions in my own life. I’m sorry for how this has also affected other people and when I have hurt others. Help me to understand where these wrong desires come from and why I react towards them. Please help me to recognise temptations and to resist them in Your strength, because when I am weak, You are strong. Amen.
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