Temptation is everywhere, so long as you have free choice in the world. Temptation is a truly unpleasant, even tormenting place for those who have a conscience. There is always a decision to be made each time that temptation knocks at the door.
- Do I look after myself only?
- Do I take the easy path?
- Do I walk away when my help is needed?
- Do I avoid speaking out or speaking up, for what I believe?
- Do I ignore what I know, because it makes me feel uncomfortable to know the truth?
- Do I live incongruently, speaking about faith but not living it?
- Do I talk about beliefs and values,without embracing them?
- Do I pass by, on the other side of the road or can I truly be the good Samaritan?
- Do I want to live with my eyes blinkered from the truth?
- Do I love conditionally rather than unconditionally, which is so much easier?
- Do I justify hating others for the harm they do to me or others or do I choose to walk free from them and their narrow minded, cruel behaviours and hurts and remain loving in nature?
The only way to resist temptation is to develop a sound, strong faith and belief system, that is congruent with God’s truth, in order to protect you from the temptations that abound to be less than who you are. For we do indeed need protection, for evil gnaws at our weakness and suggests the easier, selfish, self-justified path, time and again.
It is often so much easier to be self-motivated, rather than God motivated. God asks a lot of us, for he asks us to be love, in every moment. That is a pretty tall order for humanity.
Perhaps asking not to be led into temptation, is a cry for help, to build a strong faith in the centre of our being, so that we will not be tempted and fail. So that evil has no influence over us.
We have to remember that Jesus knew what lay ahead of him. He knew where his path lay and he knew that even despite all his faith and wisdom, his knowledge of and his love for, the Father and his mission, that despite all of this, he would still be tempted profoundly, for his own will to live as a human being, was still strong.
In the garden he would beg God to take away the burden of this path, his temptation to remain alive on earth, presumably, was immense,rather than suffer horrendous and unimaginable cruelty and torture unto death. And who would not?
So despite all that he knew and all he was, he also understood temptation and knew how strong he needed to be, in order to fully resist it.
The bigger the mission, the stronger evil will tempt us from our true path and assault our daily lives, shouting falsely of a different, easier, sometimes less painful way.
If Jesus Christ, who was both human and divine could be tempted, how much more so can we be? For we are tiny by comparison.
How greatly we may need to beg God not to lead us on a path beyond our capability, so that we can stay true to love, when life is tough. Let us ask for his help, his strength, wisdom and discernment, to see how temptation will torment us and try to lead us down a path of evils intent, rather than good, so that we can choose the right path and the strong way, helped by God.
For some, temptations will seem small and insignificant. What does it matter,perhaps, you might think? It matters profoundly!
For a small giving in, to what seems like a minor temptation to be false, can lead further and further away from love and easily eventually lead us on a path away from goodness. However small or large the temptation is, it requires us to make a choice to not be true. When the suffering is huge and vast and the experience you face, torturing in nature, you may need to beg God to help to see clearly, to not let evil obscure your view or justify a wrong thought, action or choice.
For we must always remember that we have a choice. Let us always choose truth, freedom, love, rightness, strength, hope.
We certainly need to ask God to help us build a true heart, especially when our need is great, so that we can remain alive with the power of God living with us, so that we can call upon him to gain his help when we most need it, when we feel weak, hopeless and can easily succumb to the temptation to walk away.
Let us ask him then to help us stay true in all things, that ultimately we can still be love in a broken world. Amen.