Tom and I have been abundantly blessed recently with extra visits from Annalyn and Gracie, while Mom and Dad are busy getting ready to move to a new home. And yes, we’re THOSE grandparents who think nearly everything the girls do is adorable, funny, or brilliant.
While big sis, Annalyn, was off to a birthday party, baby sister, Gracie, got to “help” Allie and Grandpa in the yard last week. It didn’t take her long to spot the mass of playground equipment in the neighbor’s yard for the little ones she babysits.
Gracie couldn’t seem to understand that we don’t hop the fence to play on “sliders” in someone else’s yard. The appeal was too great; it would be so much fun!
Or it looked that way until the neighbor’s pony-sized boxers came charging out, acting and sounding like Terminator twins on steroids. All of a sudden the sliders and swings didn’t seem nearly as attractive.
That’s how temptation can be, whatever form it is for us, isn’t it? It looks like so much FUN, so TANTALIZING. How can we resist? Sometimes temptation seems to be stronger than our willpower.
When temptation threatens to overwhelm, God throws us a rope and a hope. James gives us something to hold onto, and reminds us that temptation doesn’t come from God, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one;” (James 1:13 RSV).
The Apostle Paul offers us hope in knowing God isn’t clueless when it comes to temptation, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 RSV).
The next time I’m tempted, I hope I remember Gracie and the big dogs. What may also work will be to think about the fence and the loving arms God is willing to wrap around us when we need Him most.
Sales and sweets are my current stumbling blocks. What calls out to you with false promises of pleasure? What’s your fence of protection from giving in to the temptation?