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Tempted?

And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it.  (I Corinthians 10:13 LB)

 

 Years ago I read a story that offers some insight into temptation.  An antelope and a lion entered a diner and took a booth near the window.  When the waiter approached, the antelope said, “I’ll have a bowl of hay and a side order of radishes.”

            “And what will your friend have?”

            “Nothing,” replied the antelope.

            The waiter persisted. “Isn’t he hungry?”

            “Hey, if he were hungry,” said the antelope, “would I be sitting here?”

Temptation is a powerful force in our life.  If the temptation is strong enough, even a friend can “eat” a friend.

There  are a lot of temptations which can make it difficult for those trying to follow Jesus.  I just read today about a study on will power:

 Dr. Loran Nordgren, a senior lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, found “we tend to overestimate how much self-control we will have against temptation when we’re not in the ‘heat of the moment.’”… Dr. Nordgren warned that “Those who are most confident about their self-control are the most likely to give in to temptation.” His conclusion was that a key element in overcoming temptation is simply humility.  Recognizing our weaknesses and avoiding situations where we are tempted.

Some other important ways which enable resistance are:

  • A definite commitment to God. (priorities)
  • Absorbing scripture, which the Bible calls the “sword of the
    Spirit” (“Your word have I hid in my heart.”)
  • Accountability of a Christian community.  Close
    relationships with other followers of Jesus.

  Temptation does not lessen with spiritual growth and health.  It becomes more subtle, sophisticated and powerful.  But we also have greater power and resources to overcome it.

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