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Solid support

Solid support

Something to read

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. No one, when tempted, should say, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one.

- James 1:12-13.

Something to think about

You might have seen a version of a common psychology experiment in which small children have a tasty treat put in front of them. Before being left alone, they are told that if they can resist eating it until the adult comes back in the room, they will be rewarded with a bigger and better treat. Most children choose the instant gratification of eating the first treat: temptation is hard to resist!

James encourages us not to imagine God as a psychological researcher or even a strict moral teacher, inflicting the difficulties of temptation on us to teach us a lesson. He points instead to a common enemy, an external source of temptation that God stands wholly against. So when we face temptation ourselves, we find God not on the other side of the battle lines, but firmly in our corner: standing alongside us both to sympathise and to strengthen us.

We are likely to be far more successful than a child left alone with a marshmallow, when we have the loving support of a God who in Christ, both understands and overcomes real temptation.

Something to do

Be honest with God about what temptations you face, whether they are a significant part of your daily life or occasional thoughts in the back of your mind. Trust you’ll be met with great compassion, and without judgement.

Something to pray

God of all goodness, thank you that in your Son Jesus, you have faced every temptation that I do, and have overcome them all. Help me to believe that you don’t condemn me for my temptations, but surround me with kindness and strength. Please do that for me today. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones