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Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 23 - Temptations

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

I have two temptations I struggle with on a regular basis.  Pride and lust.  These two insidious sins have an extraordinary tendency and ability to augment and feed each other.  For example, lets say I've been able to keep the purity of my thoughts in check for several weeks.  I start thinking....."Man, I am probably doing much better than most other guys out there......struggling in all their sexual sin..." - pride.  
Then, thoroughly proud of my pride, and my incredible ability to resist temptation.....I start thinking ....."Since I have have so much more self control than other men......I can indulge in things they can't, and still be fine.   A wandering eye and careless thought doesn't affect me as dramatically as it does lesser mortals a.k.a. ~ weaker Christians.  

Does this line of rationalizing sound familiar to anyone?  Maybe I'm alone...... but I doubt it.  I think lots of you fellas do exactly the same thing.  Maybe even some of you ladies.  Married and single, young and old.  I shouldn't have to state the obvious......this reasoning is jacked up.

Something very interesting has been happening to me the last few weeks.  It has do with the above verse and God providing a way out ......enabling us to endure  temptations.  I have been operating for some time under the premise that these spiritual exercises were activities I was engaging in.  Although this is true its not exclusively so.  I had not seriously considered these exercises being given me by God to help me "find a way out" .....from the temptations that plague me....but they are.  They are gracious gifts that I am blessed to receive.

Guys, Ladies, tell hard is it to watch a movie, flip the channel, scour the internet without being bombarded by provocative and alluring images?  Its almost impossible isn't it?  With those avenues all closed, its as if a wet towel has been laid on all my customary fuses/sources of temptation.  They haven't disappeared they've simply been alleviated.  Furthermore, its hard to be proud of the bitterly painful truth that I am so utterly and completely susceptible to these blatant pavlovian catalysts.  Its like the fight I heard about at school.  One guy cocked his fist as he made his charge from 20 feet away.  Even though the other guy saw it coming he still ate that knuckle sandwich.  How humiliating!..........Exactly.  I'm not as strong as I like to think I am.  Thankfully, I serve a God who is.

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