“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:13-15).
My 2-year-old daughter Sadie sat at the kitchen table with an exasperated look on her face as she stared at a blue foil-wrapped chocolate Easter egg.
She didn’t realize my wife was recording her as part of the toddler candy challenge, which has been circulating on social media.
“Mommy is going to go potty,” my wife said. “Don’t eat the candy, and when I come back, you can have the candy.”
“OK,” Sadie said in a tortured voice.
After Mommy left, Sadie looked around the room and back at the candy.
Brother Aiden, not being in on the ruse, overheard Mommy and intervened at one point.
“I’ll watch her for you!” he shouted.
“That’s my candy,” Sadie called out. “Don’t take it.”
Mommy then ushered Aiden out of the room as Sadie reached out and nudged the candy with her fingertips.
Then she leaned forward and rested her chin on the table inches away from the chocolate.
Finally, she scooted the candy a few inches with one finger. Mommy returned just as she was about to pick it up.
“I’m proud of you for being patient,” Mommy said.
Sadie waved her hands in excitement as Mommy opened the chocolate and gave it to her.
Dealing with sin in our lives can be a lot like the toddler candy challenge.
In fact, it’s very similar to the first sin in human history in the Garden of Eden. You have to wonder if Adam and Eve touched the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or maybe even smelled it before succumbing to temptation and taking a bite.
Whether it’s an addiction, lust, anger, cheating or some other sin, we often try to toe the line when it comes to sin, convincing ourselves we can handle temptation.
But rather than trying to avoid sin, we should really try to avoid temptation that leads to sin.
When Jesus taught us how to pray, He said, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” That’s a prayer that should continually be on our lips.
First Corinthians 10:13 says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (NLT).
But we have to choose to take that way out.
A great way to fight temptation is to take an honest look at yourself and figure out when and where you are most tempted to sin—and then avoid those situations.
Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your steps. Rely on His guidance and prompting.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
>What temptation do you battle the most?
>When and where are you most tempted to sin?
>How can you avoid situations that tempt you to sin?
If you’d like to see a video of Sadie’s candy challenge, visit www.southeastoutlook.org and click on the link below: