Temptation

““Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.” Matthew 18:7-9 ESV

 

Temptation is defined as, "the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil." It is the mind games we play with ourselves as we begin to focus on, dream about, and contemplate things which are not right for us to do or have. It can be anything from dwelling on illicit ways to get rich, to pondering something like taking drugs or sexual sin. The things that tempt us so varied that we could never make a full list of temptations, but we can realize the consequences. When we pursue that which is tempting us, we discover that the outcome is seldom as wonderful as we imagined and the price is always higher than we can pay. Yielding to temptation can lead to the death of relationships, the loss of security, it robs us of peace and joy, and worst of all, it can separate us from our intimacy with God. Playing with temptation is choosing to dance with the devil while believing we won't be corrupted by his touch.

 

One of the powerful examples of the destructive power of temptation is found in 2 Samuel 13 where Amnon was consumed with the temptation of lust. When the story plays out, his sister has been defiled, he is left filled with hatred, and ultimately, if you follow the story on, it costs him his very life. Temptation seldom leads to joy and fulfillment. It is a bitter pill that is best not taken nor even sought after.