No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.1 Cor. 10:13
I’d like to introduce you to one of our four dogs, Wilma Jean. Wilma is the smallest of our dogs; she averages between ten and fifteen pounds depending on who’s watching. Now that might sound like weird phrasing but it’s true. If you’re attentive to your food at meal time and don’t leave your plate unattended, Wilma weighs less that day. If you get up to get your cell phone in another room, well, your plate just got cleaned! And the thing is, Wilma won’t ever even attempt to take food off of your plate or mine even if she’s sitting on your lap, she just needs some alone time.
We all have appetites and appetite can lead us into temptation; doing things we should not be doing. This temptation comes in the areas of passion, desire, and hunger. Those things in your life that you love, that make you feel good, that give you relief or comfort are where temptation comes the easiest and the most often. For me this one hits hard in the area of food and comfort. I am easily tempted by food. When I’ve had a bad day, all I want to do is eat something I call “comfort food.” So if we have some salami, some pepperoni, or a box of cookies in the house, then you can bet that’s going to be in my belly. Mmm, good and nutritious. Eating isn’t a sin; you’ve got to eat, so why not have another slice (or ten) of pizza?
All temptation comes with a promise. Maybe for you the promise comes in some other form. It might come in your hunger for love or acceptance, for recognition or success. Whatever you crave the most, that’s where you’re going to be tempted. Knowing what you obsess about, what you think about and want the most, is a good way to prepare yourself for temptations of the appetite. But here’s the trouble with appetite temptation: your eyes never get enough of seeing, and your ears never get enough of hearing. This is where temptation rears its ugly face—when it controls you. At this point temptation becomes your master and you its slave. And breaking free becomes a lifelong battle.
Temptation promises more than it ever gives. And the truth is, you will never be tempted beyond what you can bear; this is something common to every human being on earth. In other words, you are not alone! Temptation is a normal part of life, but it’s what you do with it that can make you abnormal. The abnormal person God wants you to be is one that lives a life a gratitude thanking God daily for what He has given you and what He has done. Thankfulness is one of the best ways our Father gives us to escape and endure temptation.
Questions to ponder
If you could only eat one meal a day, which would it be and why?
What is your greatest personal temptation in the area of appetite, is it a food or activity?
Take a moment to think about thankfulness as an escape from temptation; why do you think being grateful to God can help you endure life’s temptations?