What’s your temptation threshold?
How long will you say “no” to the daily donuts at the office before you stuff your face? How far does your will power take you until you grab the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and page through the provocative porn? How much of a percent of your paycheck can you give to church and charity before greed successfully seduces you, “Hey, you deserve to be happy. Take care of yourself!”?
If you’re honest you’ll admit that you’ve often fallen into temptation with too little of a fight. As a matter of fact, sometimes no fight at all! Sometimes the temptation is welcome. It offers something that feels good, gives control, offers relief.
Until later. Then the guilt burns.
And there will be a next time. There always is. Before then, take your guilt to the cross of Jesus and leave it there for him to deal with completely. Take your disappointment in yourself to your baptism, where it was washed away by the cleansing waters of the Spirit. Bring your fears to your Heavenly Father and he’ll chase them away with his ever ready concern about you and power over whatever frightens you.
And watch your threshold rise! “God is faithful,” the Bible says. “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” How much can you bear? How long can you endure? How far can you go? “When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The answer to your temptation threshold is found not in you, but in God!
How strong is God? How forgiving is God? How faithful is God? How true are God’s promises? How fully can you count on God? How many times will he forget or fail?
Stand up strong! Take the way out that God provides when you are tempted. He designed it. He delivers you. Trust in him and follow him. He is faithful
PRAYER: Make me strong, O God, when temptations make their appeal. Turn me to trust in your promises and depend on your strength so that I can stand up under temptations and do your will. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Slow down and use the PRAY acronym.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about him)
- Repent (tell God about your sins, trust in his promises of forgiveness)
- Ask (go ahead, think big, or focus on a small detail, God wants to hear it all)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)