But, why oh why do we keep falling for these things even once we know better? I ran across a powerful explanation that helps me understand.
A Common Misconception About Our Situation
The struggle against temptation is personal, but what we face is not unique.
The Bible tells us:
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man… 1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP
It is easy to think that our situation is the exception. It is different.
Well, it’s not.
I’ve been there. I’ve thought that my circumstances MUST BE a special case because I don’t see how anyone could hold up against what I’m facing.
I now believe this is a falsehood, a common misconception, the enemy uses to try to keep us stuck in a life less than the best.
Look at the rest of the verse above from 1 Corinthians:
But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP
What you and I face is no worse than what anyone else has to deal with. My situation is not an exception. God has not forsaken me. He will not allow me to face trials that I can’t overcome. The verse above makes all this clear.
Why Then Do I Feel So Weak Against Temptation?
I believe it is because I have forfeited my strength to resist effectively. Let me explain.
Early on, I HAD the strength to resist the temptation. What I faced was a common temptation and I had the strength of resistance and power to endure just as the Bible says.
However, as I willingly engaged in the sin (even though I knew deep down that it was wrong), I relinquished my strength to withstand further temptation.
Muscles that you don’t use shrink and become weak.
Over time, I became so weak that I had virtually no ability to resist. That’s why the temptation SEEMS so strong. It really isn’t any stronger than what is common, I’m just weaker to resist because I unwittingly surrendered my strength.
I did it to myself!
But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. James 1:14 NIV
Fanning the flames of desires like greed, envy, lust and pride also make them burn more brightly in our consciousnesses. The combination of these two make us extremely vulnerable.
The Reason This Is Powerful
For me, this discovery was very powerful. The knowledge that my temptation is no stronger than what is common gives me hope. It also keeps me from asking, “Why me?”
I can (possibly) handle a common temptation. Or, at least, I can learn to.
If I exercise my resistance, I can rebuild my strength and pretty soon, I’ll be capable of walking away from my temptation.
This will free me up to enjoy the best life possible.
Was this helpful to you? Let me know in the comments.