Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beating Temptation

Scripture Text: Matthew 4; Psalm 75

For as long as there have been people temptation has been part of the equation. We see this from Adam and Eve, to King David, to Jesus, and every person to walk the planet. It is not a question of whether or not we will face temptation, it is a matter of how we will respond in the face of temptation.

As we might guess Jesus gives a perfect model in Matthew 4. Each temptation was responded to with Scripture and evidence of a relationship with God. Satan does not hold back in the temptation offering Jesus everything that would be needed. Jesus knows all those things are only counterfeit versions of what his mission was.

Temptation offers to us a counterfeit version of what we think we need or what we are trying to accomplish. The danger is so high because it often comes in the form of a shortcut or making something that is a great challenge seem like it is easy. The first step in responding well to temptation is to have clarity about what you are called to. Second is clarity around the character traits you want to display as you achieve the goal. Lastly, responding well to temptation requires having connection with a solution that will endure.

Marriage is no stranger to temptation. In many ways it creates more opportunities to respond to temptation. There are the obvious temptations of entering into relationships with people other than your spouse in ways that are reserved for those who are our spouse. This can be of a physical or emotional nature.

We also find the less obvious temptation to take our relationship for granted. This shows up in leaving the little things of life undone such a chores around the house. It also shows up in no longer doing the small yet powerful romantic gestures of the courting or dating days. The great danger here is that it becomes easy to not even realize we have given into temptation.

Responding well to temptation in marriage is the same as in all arenas of life. First we must be clear of the call to live a healthy and great marriage, not to simply exist until we reach the till death do us part portion. Second we must have clarity that we want to make the journey filled with integrity, joy, compassion, passion and love. Third, we must remain connected with the God who loves us and teaches us how to live in such a way that we cultivate the best marriage possible.

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