Selfishness over Selflessness
Temptation in and of itself is a selfish entity. It feeds off our flesh, lusts and pride all of which are selfish elements of our being. Temptation tries to marry itself to these elements of our lives in the hopes of dragging us down into the pits of sin and despair. This idea works well with the ‘where’ of temptation, but what does that have to do with the ‘who’ of temptation? The enemy knows that if it can take our minds off God and the purpose he has in our lives, he can bring us down. Also, when we begin to act in our own self-interest, we not only affect our relationship with God, we also affect those around us. We begin to see that our temptation and how we react to them is wider reaching than just ourselves. Let’s look at some people from the Bible and how their temptation affected those around them.
Each of these people fell to temptation because they let their guard down. We talked about that last week, but notice the collateral damage that their mistakes caused. Jacob split a family right down the middle through consistent sin in his life. People’s lives were lost and endangered because of David’s and Bathsheba’s mistakes. National level implications occurred because Samson chose sin over sanctification. Judas’ temporal mindset nearly cost all of humanity its spiritual awakening.
Chaos Breeds Chaos
We can cause the same kind of chaos and destruction if we are not careful to guard our lives. Relationships can be severely damaged when we selfishly pursue the desires of our heart. People can get hurt when we make choices without considering the implications. Pursuing the world instead of The Almighty and His plan for us can hinder the purpose He has for us from being fulfilled. When we give into the cares of this life and focus on the temporal, we can put other servants of God at risk and, but for the grace and power of God, we would kill His plan for our community.
Redemption From Our Mistakes
We have seen how negatively reacting to temptation can affect our family, friends, fellow saints and even our relationship with God and His purpose for our lives. However, just as there was a redemption story last week, there is one for this week as well:
Jacob lost his relationship with his brother and never saw either of his parents again, but God still established him as the covenant bearer. He also reconciled with his brother. This came because Jacob turned to God
David lost his first son with Bathsheba, but the next to be born to him from her was Solomon. God took his biggest mistake and turned into one of his greatest triumphs. All that David was disqualified from fulfilling in his reign would be fulfilled by the blessing of Solomon. This came because David turned to God.
Samson never got to go home after his imprisonment and he never led Israel to freedom, but God used him to slay the largest number of Philistines in his life. It is notable that most of the people that died the day he tore the columns down would have been the highest ranking of officials. With their deaths, Israel’s enemies would never have the same level power over them again. This came because Solomon turned to God
Unfortunately, Judas never found redemption. His selfishness overwhelmed him to the point to where he could not see the grace and mercy that Christ extended to him even as Judas was betraying Jesus. This came because he refused to turn to God.
We can take solace knowing that even though our mistakes with temptation can affect our relationship with God and those around us, God has redemption waiting for us. Relationships that were lost can be reformed. Purpose can be re-purposed. That which was lost can have a new beginning. We just have to turn to God and he will begin the process of putting our lives back together. He’ll bless those who were hurt by our mistakes. He’ll restore things and relationships that were once lost and forgotten. He can piece it all back together because He’s God and He cares. We just have to turn to Him and let Him do the work.
Thought To Ask Yourself
Who in your life has been directly affected by your mistakes and actions as a result of temptation?
What can you do to turn your life back to God to get back on track and potentially mend those fences?
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.