This post was inspired by my small group some time ago. I wrote it, but let it sit here. Seems like it’s still relevant and now is the time to post it. Enjoy!
Too often, I think we look at temptation as the sin itself. I wonder why we do this. Maybe it happens because we feel weak and powerless to stop it? We can’t control when it happens to us? It is catered to us so perfectly, we don’t feel strong enough to resist?
Yet, temptation is not the same thing as sin.
1. the act of tempting; enticement or allurement.
2. something that tempts, entices, or allures.
3. the fact or state of being tempted, especially to evil.
–verb (used with object)
1. to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.
2. to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite: The offer tempts me.
3. to render strongly disposed to do something: The book tempted me to read more on the subject.
4. to put (someone) to the test in a venturesome way; provoke: to tempt one’s fate.
5. Obsolete. to try or test.
1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2. any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
So, by my understanding, temptation is the desire to do something, the appeal to do something, and we should avoid it when the desire does not line up with the Word of God.
Sin is the action of wrong-doing.
Therefore, temptation is an opportunity that should have two arrows on either side of it. Showing the opposite directions of the given opportunity.
Take the opportunity! But do so with caution, the opportunity you want to be taking is to deny Satan, walk away from temptation, and therefore to begin to look more like Christ.
This is, by no means, a challenge to readily expose ourselves to temptation. We can’t hide from it, though. So, why not be ready? Why not etch the truth on our hearts, follow Jesus’ perfect example, and face the opportunity without fear? Temptation is not a curse. It is an opportunity to grow. It is an opportunity to choose to obey our Heavenly Father, the God who loves us, created us, and watches over us.
What is your approach to temptation? Do you recognize temptation when it appears, or does the recognition come after it has passed?
4 thoughts on “Temptation: The Hidden Opportunity”
Yes, how true in my opinion: temptation is not sin. However, I also believe that when we know that temptation is strong and that we may possibly fall, that we must protect our inclinations and move in the opposite direction. There is victory in turning away before it is too late!
Thank you, Lee!
Though I’m not so swayed by whether an action follows the Word of God or not, I am often tempted to do things which do not fulfill me in the long run, which distract me or are unhealthy. Noticing these temptations and resisting them builds a stronger willpower, making resistance easier in the future. And you feel satisfied by having resisted, often more satisfied than if you’d given in (to that piece of chocolate cake or late night TV show, for example!).
I can see how it applies in that sense, too! Thanks Wyatt!