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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

As common as the person beside you

13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.
(I Corinthians 10:13)

Temptation is not a word commonly used in our communications today.  We might say we are tempted to eat something we should not, or to make a purchase that is probably not the wisest.  Temptation is really to be lured into something.  It might begin with a little bit of what we call "fascination" with something we really should not indulge in, but then it becomes something that we have a great deal of resisting.  Why is it that the simplest "fascination" can have such a big "pull" on us?  Simply put, it is because we don't learn to manage the invitation.

I get tons of advertisement each week in the mail.  In fact, if it was not for the advertisement, I think my mailman would be out of work!  The idea behind the ads is to entice us into the various eating establishments, shops, and businesses around the valley.  Once they get us there, they hope to "hook us" into buying their product - by the offer they promise in their advertisement.  Mom used to say that nothing is as good as it looks.  As I have grown older, I believe what she says!  Why?  Because I have been "hooked" a few times too many into believing the "lure" of the ads!

In our daily walk, we have opportunities to both embrace or resist temptation. It could be as simple as saying we won't eat that extra serving of carbs at lunch, or it might be as complicated as resisting the urge to be involved in gossip in the workplace.  Regardless of the temptation (the lure), there is a corresponding struggle of the mind and will that ensures.  Over the past couple of days, we have talked about discipline and the need for taking accountability for our actions.  Well, dealing with temptation requires accountability - the purposeful behavior that says we take responsibility for our actions.

Instead of blaming those advertisers for misleading me, I need to own up to the fact that I did not do my research well on the product being offered.  Instead of blaming another for my behavior, I need to own up to the fact that I am entirely responsible for my response, my investment of energies, and my heart motivation in doing whatever it was that I did!  Whenever I blame another for my action, I am denying that a need exists in my life - that need is to be free of the enticement!  I am actually making another responsible for my behavior - and we know very well that the other person really does not make us behave a certain way.  They may elicit a certain response - but WE have the ability to either respond or walk away!

It is always amazing to me whenever I hear someone telling me that I don't know what they are going through.  I may not have walked EXACTLY the same steps that other person is walking, but if the truth be known, the steps we all walk are pretty similar.  It is an age-old argument that we want to have a unique set of reasons for why we pursue what it is we pursue - like no one else could possibly be dealing with the same stuff we are.  If we isolate our temptation as unique to us - we don't reach out to others for aid in resisting it!

So, whatever it is that is enticing you to compromise your stand today, just know this....you are not alone!  Your enticement is not unique to just you.  If you were honest with that one that God has placed in your life to walk alongside you, you might just find out how "common" your temptation is!  No temptation is greater than God's ability to overcome!  In fact, it is already a done deal!