A few years ago, I asked a friend of mine, “When does temptation ever end?”
I suppose that on one level, it never does end.
Do any of these temptations sound familiar?
- The temptation to insist upon a soft, risk-free life.
- The temptation to power. Life is only good when I get my way, whether in my home or at my work.
- The temptation to say “yes” to whatever might bring me a moment of pleasure. If I have to choose between pleasure or morality, pleasure trumps morality.
- The temptation to coast. To work the system and to not do anything that might upset this system.
- The temptation to demand attention. “That’s nothing,” he said, “you should have seen what happened to me.”
- The temptation to play by different rules. Tell the kids one thing and then do another. Preach one thing to the church and then do another.
- The temptation to live by fear instead of by faith. Consequently, the fear of what could happen rules your life.
- The temptation to manipulate instead of love. After all, manipulation allows you to pursue your true agenda.
- The temptation to flirt with evil. To see evil as simply being naughty instead of the soul eating cancer that it is.
- The temptation to use God for your purposes instead of loving God for who he is.
You may know what it is like to be tempted to buy something that you really don’t need. After being married for a couple of years, we went to New Orleans for a few days. Neither Charlotte or I had been there before. Money was tight—very tight. So we really had to budget this trip very carefully—what we were going to do, where we were going to stay, etc.
We were walking through the French Quarter one day with all of the other tourists when we were approached by a person who said, “If you would like $50 just go to this address and take a brief tour through a new condominium. Well that sounded great. This sounded like a very easy thing to do. So we walked around the corner and stood in line for this tour.
At the end of the tour, our guide asked us to be seated at a table. I thought, “This is where we get the $50.” Wrong! This was where we listened to this man tell us just how urgent it was that we act today. It was a special deal. On sale. Next week the price will be different. Don’t pass this up.
Not a rental. Not exactly owning a property. No, we were invited to purchase a “Time Share.”
He said, “You aren’t going to pass this up are you? The price will never be lower.” I wondered, “Are we passing up a deal?” By the time he got through with us, I was really wondering if this was our last chance at one of the all time good deals in life.
Charlotte and I looked at one another and then said “No.” He looked at us as if we just didn’t get it. He reluctantly handed us $50.
Now I was glad to get that money. However, I kept wondering, “Did we pass up a great opportunity?”
Maybe temptation is like that.
What temptation would you add to this list of 10?