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  • Writer's pictureJoni Topper

Temptation

We all have one. That “thing” that calls out to us. Yours may different than mine but it is real all the same. From day to day mine may vary.


Some days it is the urge to speak with a little edge in the tone of my voice. You know the one that conveys, “You are just a little annoying to me. Dealing with you is really a bit of a chore today.” In no translation does that attitude evoke a feeling that I love you or I think what you are saying is important. The tone says, “I’m better than you, smarter and certainly more in touch.” In touch with what is cool? In touch with God? More than likely the only thing I am in touch with those moments is my pride.


Years ago, I worked with a man who told me he knew he was not the brightest color in the box but that he had learned to make up for any deficit he might have by always exhibiting a good attitude. He shared that many doors of opportunity opened for him because people could always count on him to try hard with a good spirit. He was happy and confident as he shared this with me. I do not remember the circumstances when he shared this golden nugget of insight. Maybe he saw frustration building in me. In any case, the truth of his words found a home in my heart.


On occasion my “thing” is the self imposed importance assigned to my agenda for the day. You know, the house that needs cleaning or the garden that needs water. Then disturbed by a friend in need my personal to do list gets shoved aside. A reality check helps me remember those cobwebs will wait. While I may pause for a moment, my spirit is always happy with the decision to choose a friend over a task.


Your “thing” might be tangible but maybe not. Like the wind it may blow in and out of your life in unpredictable gusts. Today the temptation to be deceitful may not vex your spirit and tomorrow the same thing may test you from dawn to dusk.


Sometimes the temptation is packaged as "Fun Size". The truth is there is nothing fun about honestly addressing temptation. A bowl of candy may look like just another object in the room or it may tug at you like a magnet. Whatever your “thing” is today. Rest assured there is help. Psalm 103:8-14 reads, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”


God’s word reminds me of His tender mercy, then my spirit relaxes, my heart rejoices and my desire to serve Him grows.





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