Temptation Is NOT Born of God
James, he says, "Never [ever], when you have been tempted, say, 'God sent
this temptation.' God cannot be tempted to do anything wrong, and He does
not tempt anybody! Everyone who is tempted is attracted and seduced by his own
wrong desire. Then, the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin is
fully grown, it too has a child, and the child is death."
How many times have you heard
someone remark about a difficult situation of temptation that "God is testing
me"? I've heard it even from ministers.
The truth is that God doesn't
tempt us to do anything but good. He may "tempt" you to go to church. He may
"tempt" you to help a neighbor in need. He may "tempt" you to do a good deed.
But He never tempts you to do a misdeed to sin, even a little bit. We can do
that all on our own!
I used to love a comedic routine
by Flip Wilson, who portrayed Geraldine on The Dean Martin Show many years ago.
Every time Geraldine got caught in a lie or doing something "she" shouldn't be
doing, she would respond with, "The devil made me do it!"
Well, even that isn't true. The
devil may tempt you, but only you can decide how you will respond. The devil
cannot make you sin. He knows we have "free will" and cannot make us do
anything. We decide. We are in control, and that's what this Bible verse is all
The next time you find yourself in
a bad situation, step out of the situation and analyze YOU. Answer these
- What has my attitude been like
lately? Have I been unusually or really negative? Have I been responding with
anger a lot?
- How have I been treating
others? My co-workers? My family? Have I been judging others, their remarks or
their behaviors? Have I been feeling superior to others, such as my boss?
- How have I been feeling about
myself? Have I been putting myself down a lot? Have I been other than loving
- What do my actions of late say
about me? Have I been attending church and helping others one day, only to be
ill-tempered the next?
We determine many of our life
situations by our own actions, according to this Bible verse (and many others,
as well). I remember a friend once asking me how she could have brought cancer
to herself; after all, she definitely didn't want such a thing to happen to her.
I asked her how she had been feeling about herself before the cancer hit. Her
eyes lit up. She had been dumping on herself for some time, not appreciating the
beautiful and Godly person she is. So, instead of bringing health and well being
to herself, she brought another reason to hate herself and her body.
In Galatians 6:7-8, Paul affirms
this with "Where a man sows, there he reaps. If he sows in the field of
self-indulgence, he will get a harvest of corruption out of it; if he sows in
the field of the Spirit, he will get from it a harvest of eternal life."
Taking the time and effort to be
happy and positive does have its rewards here and in heaven.
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