Last weekend, I went away on a retreat with more than a dozen ladies from my church. Seems like a good place to get away from temptation, right? In a house with 14 ladies, 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms, there was little time, space, or privacy to engage in sinful activities, right?
Because sitting on the countertop in the kitchen was the richest, gooiest temptation of all — cinnamon rolls.
Spoiler alert: I did not get within 6 inches of them. Nary a crumb passed my lips. But it wasn’t because I didn’t want them.
In this week’s chapter, author Jerry Bridges says, “Be especially watchful against [temptations]. Realize that your ‘temptation antenna’ is constantly scanning your environment looking for those areas of sin. Then watch and pray against them” (Bridges, 215).
We’ve covered some of this ground before — I have a strong gluten intolerance which makes gluten poisonous to me. I can’t eat it, even though I WANT it. The fact that I still want it is what makes it a temptation. But that doesn’t change the fact that I CANNOT HAVE it. It’s no good for me. But Bridges’ reminder this week was helpful, and that reminder is that I have a “temptation antenna” that’s seeking out things that are no good for me. What I should do — what I MUST do — is to watch out for those things that are no good for me, and then ask for help in avoiding them.
Cinnamon rolls are a silly example, I know. But sometimes, life throws MUCH harder temptations at us that lead us into life or death situations. I’ll pause here while you think of some…
Dangerous situations (like dark alleys at night).
For one of my dear friends, it was Fentanyl. And for him, that temptation took his life.
Matthew 26:41 says, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Thank God for His Spirit within us to help us in overcoming the temptations.
This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Jerry Bridges’ book, “The Discipline of Grace.” Whether or not you’re reading the book, you’re welcome to stick around and chat. Make sure to drop in and read what my co-facilitator, Jason, has to say. And if you’ve written a reaction to this week’s chapter, link it up at the widget below.