The Nature of Temptation
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul tells the Corinthians their temptations are no different from those everyone else faces and furthermore, “God is faithful, and will not let you be tested beyond your strength….” Thus we are reminded our time is not so different from previous times. The doomsayers of every generation seek to make us afraid because of the nature of our temptation. But the truth is that “there is nothing new under the sun” and God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability.
These are welcome words in every generation but no more welcome than in our own day. Faced with the problems that seem to overwhelm us, we long for a day that was not as stressful. Paul tells us to take heart, our temptations are no worse than those others have faced and be assured, “God is faithful, and will not let you be tested beyond your strength.”
We are not forced to succumb to the evil of the world; we do not have to give in to the destructive forces around us. We can resist and in resisting be good stewards of all the graces God gives us.
–Rev. Terry Maynard
- What temptations do we face in our day-to-day living? What are some positive ways that you handle them?
- What resources does God give us in providing a way out of the testing that we face?
- In responding to the temptations of life we can: give in, endure or rise above. What do each of these responses mean to you in your particular circumstances?
- How has God proven faithful in your struggle with temptation? Discuss a particular instance with a group of friends.
How Do I Act?
- Spend an evening watching television and listing the temptations that are evident from advertising. Discuss your findings. You may want to record some of your findings or branch out into other mediums and bring in magazine clippings or radio ads.
- Invite a representative from a drug/alcohol rehabilitation center to speak to your church about problems with addictions and how to deal with them. Discuss ways in which your church can be an active voice in your community against drugs.
- List as many of the stories of temptation as you can recall from scripture. Rewrite one of the stories and describe how the person was enabled to resist temptation. Or if they weren’t able to resist temptation, reflect on some of the reasons for their sin and how you might have responded in the same situation. Think of modern day situations that would be similar to these stories.
- God gives each of us different strengths to resist temptation. List as many strengths as you can think of from your own experiences. Pray to God asking for strength from temptation.