Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

apple-tree-429213_1920Rick was tempted. He was going through a marital crisis. According to him, his wife was cold and distant. When a colleague at the office provided a listening ear, Rick found himself attracted. The more time he spent with this woman, the closer the two became. He even prayed with this woman for God to heal his marriage.

When he came to see me, he was mad at God for placing such an attractive woman in his work place. When I asked about his actions, he said, “I’ve crossed the line a few times with this woman, but it is not my fault. I have been praying for my marriage to heal and my wife isn’t responding. God knows I am lonely. I wouldn’t have been tempted if this woman didn’t work with me and my marriage was solid.”

Wrong answer, Rick. God or circumstances didn’t tempt you. In James 1:13, this is confirmed, ” Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.”

There may be times when our faith is tested, but that is not the same as being tempted. Temptation is our responsibility. We give in to temptation. It’s our choice to give birth to our desires.

James 1:14 tells us that the source of our temptation is our own evil desires. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.“We are pulled away by temptation because of our sinful heart. And when we give in to temptation, we need to own it.

We can blame God, the devil, circumstances, or anyone else in our lives when we find ourselves tempted. But the root of temptation is our own desires. James uses the language of childbirth to describe the course of temptation. Desire is conceived, then it gives birth to sin and continues to grow. Once sin is grown, it leads to destruction or death. So sin gives birth to death. This is the course temptation takes when we yield to it. Unlike a real birth, no life is given once sin is conceived. The end result of all sin is destruction and death.

Once we acknowledge that we are sinners and the source of our temptation is our evil desires, we can submit to Christ who helps us overcome. Jesus triumphed over temptation and their is no sin in Him. Because of Him, we too can be victorious over temptation.

If you are tempted, take responsibility and remember, Christ lives in you and gives you the power to resist. When we are weak, He is strong. Lean on Him to give you the power to overcome.

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