“I’m only human, made of flesh and blood, a mere man…”
One way or the other, you’ve probably heard this song; on the radio, on your ipod, someone singing along… In one circumstance or the other, you may have also uttered this phrase in one of the trying times of life. “I can’t do it, I’m only human!”
He quoted in his book a passage that struck me: “Opportunity only knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.”
Wouldn’t you agree?
Think of just one temptation that you’re really having a hard time resisting: the latest iPhone, that so-worth-it dress, Facebook! Have you ever felt it calling you? Yes? That there seems to be a voice inside your head that says, ‘Well, I can afford it, not that I need it badly, but I want it!’, or ‘What’s so wrong about spending a few hours on Facebook?, or these are just minor issues, why bother, correct? Then this article is just for you.
All big things start small. Success can start in a dream. And in the same way, failure and defeat can start with just a small want. Don’t underestimate the power of desire.
An extra hour or two in Facebook may cause you to slack at work, lack sleep, fall into pornography, commit sexual immorality, in short sin. Wanting to buy that Iphone and/or must-have dress may cause you to lie, to lack self-control and spend beyond your means, debt: again sin. We have to remember, temptation leans on the doorbell.
How do we battle with temptation?
“Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” - James 1: 2-4
Temptation is not sin but it is one step away. We have to learn to flee and run and then pursue righteousness that we may learn patience, endurance, sensitivity to others and especially a moment-by-moment trust in the sufficiency of Christ’s grace. Temptation is one way of maturing us to be more like Jesus, allowing us to depend on Christ in times of our struggles. Therefore, to grow is to be tempted.
I find this song by Alexandra Burke entitled “Before it Explodes”, a helpful tool for you and I to remember:
“Let’s stop the madness before it explodes
Before it’s out of our control
We gotta let it go
Before it all explodes”
We are all a work in progress when it comes to developing our character. But choosing to say no to temptation is the first step.
Being human has no bearing in our potential to overcome temptation. It may affect our desire but not our ability.