On the wall in my 4th grade class was a huge cart showing which kids scored 100% on the timed multiplication test. As the weeks and months passed, more and more names were added to the chart, but not mine. I studied, I practiced and still, week after week I would miss the perfect score. One week I remember running to the girls bathroom in tears. I was certain that I would NEVER pass that test. In the easy life of a 9 year old girl, I had discovered “hard”.
Granted the test was not hard for everyone, but it certainly was for me. Was my problem that I was not smart enough? No, eventually I got my name on the chart. The problem was temptation. I was tempted to quit studying and practicing. I was tempted to believe I was too stupid to do it. I was tempted to think of a way to cheat to get it done. You get the idea.
We don’t typically talk about temptation these days but it’s still here. When we run into something hard our preferred approach is to blame. Either we blame ourselves: “I can’t do this.” Or to blame others: “They won’t help.” Or to blame our situation: “No one can expect me to do this because of what happened to me.” Blaming is just giving into the temptation to quit.
Each time we run into something hard that is good and right there will be temptation to keep us from doing it.
Think about trying to live a healthy life style. First, it’s hard. Eating healthy takes more time and cost more money than eating poorly. By starting an exercise routine, you will discover aches and pains that you forgot existed in your old sedentary life. And second, a healthy life is God pleasing- after all your body is a gift from God for you to care for. But boy oh boy, is there temptation to not care for our bodies. We already talked about how blame works. Let’s look at some other temptations:
- “Other people need to do that not me. “ Tempted to boast
- “I’m not worth the effort.” Tempted to diminish yourself
- “I don’t care what they say, it won’t help.” Tempted to lose faith
- “I’m sure my doctor is exaggerating.” Tempted to deny
- “I’ll get to it later.” Tempted to procrastinate
Here’s the good news- everybody is tempted and God has provided a way of escape.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
The Lord does not want you to stay trapped in temptation. What can you do?
STEP #1: SEE the temptation as the trap it is.
STEP#2: LOOK for the way of escape the Lord has provided.
The hardest part of living a healthy lifestyle is overcoming the temptation to quit. Remember, God has provided a way so you may endure it! Healthy life- here we come!!