All of us struggle with temptations…
When I was five years old, my best friend and next door neighbor David was my constant companion. We did everything together. We spent a lot of time together. We also got sick of each other often, and I was constantly tempted to physically fight with him, like he was with me. We tempted one another to beat each other up because we annoyed each other. I remember us slapping each other and screaming at each other, right in the middle of playing an Atari 2600 game back in 1986!
When I was ten years old I was fully inaugurated by my babysitter Lori and my parents into the world of over indulging in snacks. I made habits like;
- eating full bags of potato chips in one sitting,
- Eating lots of marshmallows, and
- Drinking three Dr. Peppers in a row
Sometimes all three happened right in a row within an hour! Dang my poor stomach!
I gained a lot of weight that year and didn’t shed it until I was fourteen.
When I was ten I also got into mild pornography. By twelve it intensified, by sixteen it was a full blown, twice a day sort of addiction until I fully kicked at age nineteen. Praise God I’ve been porn free since then.
I’ve been tempted by and fully lured into lots of things. I was addicted to tobacco at age twelve, got into alcohol around the same time, got into marijuana at age fourteen, and heavier drugs by age sixteen.
I’ve lied. I’ve cheated. I’ve stolen. I’ve been violent. I’ve gotten arrested twice.
I am a man who has succumbed to many temptations.
At twenty I became a Jesus follower and thought all my temptations would be minimized. Really, I just struggled with new ones. I’ve fallen into theological arrogance. I’ve been judgemental. I’ve been cynical. I’ve struggled to be a life-giving, good Husband and Father. My struggle with anger and impatience has been fully brought out into the light and although prayer, therapy, scriptures, maturing, and practicing healthy disciplines and rhythms of life have made amazing changes in me, the Lord is still dealing with me. I could mention many more struggles. They don’t go away, they just morph and change through time.
Engage for a moment… We all struggle with temptations. What temptation are you currently struggling with? Be real and bring that before God in prayer..
Jesus struggled with temptations just like we do. He just didn’t give in to any of them. And I mean any of them. It’s remarkable to wrap our heads around. (2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 4:15)