“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb 2:18, NIV84).
Temptation: it’s something we all know. We’re tempted with all kinds of vices: greed, lust, gluttony and more. These are some of the obvious.
We’re also temped with things like giving into anger and jealousy, slander, and gossiping. The list is endless. Now, I can’t speak for you, but “all’s I can say” is GUILTY!
No matter our social status, origin of birth or religious affiliation, part of being human is being tempted. It’s so universal that we can all relate—even Jesus.
I’ve often wondered how Jesus was tempted. When drop-dead gorgeous women passed by, glanced his way and gave him a wink, what were his first thoughts—those that flashed in a millisecond of time? While hanging on the cross and being mocked, knowing he could command legions of angels to come to his rescue, what flashed through his mind?
A mentor of mine once said:
It’s not the initial temptation that’s sinful; it’s what we do with it afterwards.
In other words, temptation will happen, it’s how we respond that makes a difference. Because Jesus was tempted—but did not give into the temptation—he understands our daily fight. I find that comforting; I hope you do too.
Today, when you’re tempted—and you will be—pause and consider how Jesus would’ve responded; then, act accordingly. Take comfort knowing Jesus is by your side, encouraging you with his Spirit to not give into the temptation.
Jesus, thank you for being tempted; help me today to not give in.