Flirting with Temptation

( [email protected] ) Mar 02, 2004 11:35 AM EST

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe. -Proverbs 18:10 (NRSV)

MY wife and I usually encounter squirrels and other small animals when we drive down our country road. The animals often seem indecisive about which way to run as our car approaches. They scamper back and forth in the path of danger, rather than simply run to the safety of the roadside.

When confronted with temptation, people are sometimes like those hapless squirrels. Rather than follow the Bible's admonition to immediately turn away from evil when we encounter it, we sometimes flirt with disaster by hanging around the source of trouble. Being tempted is not a sin; even Jesus was tempted. The problem comes when we fail to recognize and reject temptation. When we don't recognize temptation, we may allow it to overrun us.

In Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, he warns us to "flee from the worship of idols." The "idols" in today's world may not be as obvious as they were in Paul's time, but they are just as real, just as appealing, and certainly just as dangerous to us. Unlike those little animals in the road, we know how to recognize and escape trouble. The Bible is a trustworthy guide for daily living if we read -- and follow -- the instructions!