Sunday, March 3, 2019

Invitation NOT accepted

Oscar Wilde once quipped, "I can resist everything except temptation." He may have more telling in his words than we may first want to admit! Temptation can give the lot of us a huge headache - if not for the temptation we pursue, then for those that others pursue that affect us in the end. We don't commonly speak about temptation in our communications today, especially if it will 'meddle' in our personal business. We might admit 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, so it is more common than we think. 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 to put a great deal of effort into if we are to resist it. 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.

No 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)

We probably all get tons of advertisement each week in the mail. In fact, if it was not for the advertisement, our mail service might just go out of work! The desire behind the ads is to entice us into the various eating establishments, shops, and businesses who create those advertisements. Once they get us into their establishment, or making contact with their company, they hope to "hook us" into buying their product or service - by the offer they promise in their advertisement. You probably have heard it said that nothing is as good as it looks. Over the years, I have come to understand the meaning of those words. I have been "hooked" a few times too many into believing the "lure" of the thing as it was advertised, not as I should have known it would be!

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, or resisting the offer of an illicit affair. Regardless of the temptation (the lure), there is a corresponding struggle of the mind and will that ensures. We all probably understand the need for 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 what was 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's pull! I might actually want to make another responsible for my behavior - but we probably all 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 the other individual 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! Just sayin!

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