Temptation…

Eve was enticed.

Eve engaged.

Eve ate.

So goes the pattern for all temptation, all sin.  We are first enticed.  Can we avoid enticement?  Not hardly.  It would be mighty pious of a man to claim he had purified himself of enticement, all temptation.  We’ve discussed this in previous posts but men are bombarded with images all day long.  Attractive women cross our paths.  We are tempted by food we probably shouldn’t eat.  Apple rolls out the iPad3…(What’s wrong with the iPad I’ve got?).  We innocently search Google for a topic and “Hot singles in Columbus Georgia ready for a date” appears on the pop-up next to our search.

It is one thing to be enticed – quite another to engage.

It is in the engaging that we get into all sorts of trouble.  The flirtation with danger.  The extra looks we take.  Initiating conversations that we know better to initiate.  Clicking on the revealing picture “just to see”.  These are what start the destructive pattern rolling.

Think about this in terms of cars.  We should buy a car, pay for it and drive it “until the wheels fall off”.  But we are seduced by the 2012 models.  The ads are appealing.  And so we start to “engage” a bit in the process.  We go to Motor Trend’s site and read reviews.  We go to the manufacturer’s site and “build our own” model just to see.  We frequently look at pictures.  We begin to covet.  We begin to think “I really do need a new car”.  And then we start figuring out if we can swing the payment and justify the need to our spouse.

I’m a truck guy.  I did the “buy a car every 3-4 years” routine and I had a new Honda Accord to replace a perfectly fine Pontiac that I loved and then I replaced the Honda.  Then I bought a few used cars and drove a Tahoe that my wife had driven (until she needed a new car).  Then I did the dumbest thing of all, I bought a BMW.  That was my crowning achievement of car stupidity.  I bought the lie that I “deserved” a car like that.  I hated it.  Truth be told 10 years later, that old Honda Accord would probably have been just fine but I gave away a lot of money bouncing from one car to another out of a lack of contentment.  Lesson learned – no car is ever going to complete me.  So I sold the BMW for a profit and bought a minimally equipped pickup truck and have been happy as a clam ever since.

Occasionally I flirt with danger and look too long at the Infiniti commercials and then I engage a bit and go to the website and I compare it to the Hyundai Genesis and then I shake my head and say “NO” and go back to my beat up, dirty, reliable, paid for truck and I hug it.  And then comes the rumor that Chevy/GMC and Ford are all about to unveil major re-do’s of their trucks….

This the new Chevy Colorado and it foreshadows the new big truck Z-71’s coming.  And I begin to engage again.  I’ve started to wander.  Started to dance with the thoughts.  I see this picture, imagine a bigger version of this with bigger tires and I can feel my testosterone surge.  “I need this truck….” 

Now, buying a new truck or car isn’t deadly like some of the other temptations we face.  THIS is how our temptation with pornography works – or – the temptation to flirt a little bit with the lady at work – or – the temptation to cut corners on a business deal.  We are enticed and then we engage.  We go beyond the initial look, initial thought.  We start to talk about it, we dig a little deeper, we contemplate the possibilities of pulling it off….and the hook is being set.

I cannot tell you that you should never be enticed by enticing things.  But I can tell you that you should never “engage”.  Satan passes the flashy bait in front of us but we are always the one to make the first move.  If we never engaged, we’d never get hooked.

So our prayer for each other is that we’d guard our hearts and our souls and our bodies from the temptation to take that next step.  Do not kid yourself – you will be tempted.  Eve was enticed but it was when she engaged and started talking with the “father of all lies” that she fell.  Had she walked away, none of it would have happened.   Yes, you will be tempted (probably today) by alluring images but you’re the only one who clicks the mouse to take you into the next step.

Watch that next step….it’s a doozie.  When tempted, just walk away, my man.  Walk away.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken.  We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit.  We are hunted down, but God never abandons us.  We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going… Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!”  2 Corinthians 4:5

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