What have I learned about temptation that is worthy of writing? So much is written on the subject. I did not dare write about it until I had something more to offer.
I have learned about its true nature. It is not just an unwise choice, born of rebellion against God. And it is not a single action.
It always starts as something small. It never comes upon us in its full-blown nature. In this it is rightly called an enticement.
Among men there are things of beauty. Among men there are things that can rightfully be desired under the right circumstances, and within a proper limit. But the enticement of temptation will draw you a little farther.
Consider the beauty of woman. Along with desire for wealth, her beauty rates very high in the failure of man. What does temptation whisper, as it begins its routine enticements? Doesn’t it make remark in regard to the things of our perceptions?
We say yes. She is beautiful. Then temptation agrees, adding an observation of your desire. The enticement has begun.
Temptation whispers to you that lust is only natural. By now you are ready to agree.
But as the foolish man enters in, temptation does not keep quiet. He adds more shame upon shame. By now you are not only too weak to resist, you encourage him to speak. Pathetically, by now you consider temptation as an honorable teacher.
Before a short while is done abominable things have crossed your filthy heart. Temptation does not end with enticement. It takes a man or woman to the classroom of filthy thoughts and actions. And when physical satisfaction has been found, it laughs at you!
Now temptation does what it is renowned to do. Its strip you of pride, and rubs your face with all that is filthy. You are a disgrace before God. You are a disgrace before the Holy Angels. You are a disgrace before all humanity. You are a disgrace to yourself! The only one who is pleased by your stupid choice is temptation.
Worse upon worse, temptation now knows your weakness!
Take note in all these things, I did not call temptation the devil. The book of James tells us that we are tempted and drawn away by our own desires. Yes he is called the tempter. But we, my friends, are the ones pointedly to be blamed.
I have used the example of woman. But I do not blame her singly. It is the most pervasive temptation among man. But it by no means stands alone. Everything that draws us away from what is good and pure is sin.
To some it is lying. To another is money. To one it is gluttony. To someone else it is self-abasement in any form. And temptation will testify, “The myriad is large”!
Temptation knows your weakness. Be honest with yourself, my friend, so do you!
I tell you a truth. You will not overcome the things that tempt you from within. Try as you might you will not find the strength. You are bound like a prisoner to repeat your filthy ways.
The only one who can free us is Jesus the Christ of God. And I do not say so with the slightest sliver of shame. I testify to you that overcoming temptation is quite possible. But you will not overcome if you do not call out to him.
Eternity will be purged. Did you know that? Once this place is done, this place of temptation and testing, nothing that is sin will ever find life. If you needed provocation to consider resisting temptation, let eternal death sink into your mind.
Those who desire righteousness will seek His Holy face. Those who are content to be filthy will never raise their eyes. Death will cover them forever. And no one will say, “Sweet dreams”.
By His Grace