Temptation

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (New Living Translation — NLT)

We usually think that temptation comes from without, but only a small part hails from circumstances or other people. The brunt of attractive or repulsive tempting force originates within. It takes a fair bit of narcissism to think that our integrity is the main issue in a given situation; more so to hold the situation or others responsible.

So, the “way of escape” from temptation is primarily a matter of perspective: first a recognition of the route through a given situation, not a task of altering the situation to make a way through it. The situation, of course, needs altering — we don’t live in Eden — but we can’t clearly see to remove specks from other eyes until we take the logs out of our own.

Temptations aren’t about enticements or tendencies to do things that we “shouldn’t.” That’s a behavioral/legal understanding peddled by religious exploiters, and Jesus denounced it. A temptation boils down to one thing: given what happened, is happening, or might happen, will we turn away from loving people, truth, and life through compromise or giving up, or will we remain loving, true, committed, and press forward? Until we find the way through and out, it feels like we’re butting walls on every side. The logs in our eyes — all of them labeled “I can’t…” — hide doorways or make them appear so impenetrable that we despair before even trying their latches.

When we understand this and clear the “I can’t…” myths from our vision, resolutely cleaving to each other, to love, truth, and life, then look at the reality we face, the way out of difficult and even impossible situations materializes, sometimes as if by magic. It was there the whole time, of course. Myths of incompetence and impotence obscured it, victims’ narratives all; and, until we turned our foreheads like flints towards love, we looked in all the wrong places.

Turning away from “I can’t…” is repentance. Salvation is finding the way out of the temptation to compromise or give up. This is why “My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” — not because God wants to see how much we can bear, but because the way to rightness, peace, and joy is there for the finding. How could anyone be pleased if we settled for less or stopped looking?

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About Millard J. Melnyk

Motley past, promising future exploring an open, potent understanding of mutuality, individual dignity and personal power through trust. DEAUTHORITARIANIZE EVERYTHING!
This entry was posted in Bible, Freedom, God, Inspiration, Life & Death, Religion, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Temptation

  1. devinrmccray says:

    Needed this today! Thanks

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