You don’t have to take the bait

You don’t have to take the bait


It’s a struggle born in the mind and it is consuming you. Now it is all you think about. In fact, it has gotten to the point where your obsessive preoccupation with it has now convinced you that you just absolutely must satisfy your desire. You have even rationalized that this must be what God wants for you since He could have prevented the situation that led you to this point, but hadn’t. But are you justified in your thinking? James in his epistle warns that “when you are being tempted, do not say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

I’ve discovered that when someone has convinced himself that this is what he has to do, he becomes blind to all other options. It is as if you are not the one in control anymore; the desire has taken over and you begin to see yourself as a victim of circumstance. Instead of looking for a way out, you find yourself looking for just the “right” moment to fulfil your burning desire. Now you can hardly wait to give that person a piece of your mind; to savour every last bite of that tasty treat; to buy that gadget you feel you can’t live without; to feed your gambling habit; to visit the bar; to work yet another weekend when you should be at home with your family; to have that extra-marital affair; etcetera; etcetera.

But when it is all over, instead of feeling all tingly and happy inside; you’re aghast and asking yourself: “How in the world did I get here?!” “What was I thinking?!” But that is what happens when we do not take the proper measures to disarm temptation when it first appears. If we choose to pass away the hours entertaining wrong desires, how can we be surprised when we find ourselves losing control? Thank God He’s made provision for us to successfully deal with temptation and has promised to never allow us to be tempted above what we are able to handle!

Have you ever been on the verge of yielding to temptation and right at that very moment, the phone rang or someone stopped by unexpectedly to visit or something else distracts you? God knows what we can stand and has put boundaries in place, so that even the temptations that come our way know their limit. We do not have to succumb; we do not have to take the bait. That same nagging temptation that keeps bugging you is successfully met by countless others every single day, and you too can render it powerless if you choose to. So whatever it is that is trying to trip you up and make you fall, just know that you do not have to yield to it!

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