We’ve all been there, at one time or another. Standing on the very cusp of doing what we know is wrong. And we have to decide; will we do what we know we shouldn’t do or do we make the right decision. And each of us is tempted by something different in our lives, which makes it really difficult to understand how someone can give into to their particular temptation. “How could they do that? I don’t understand what the appeal could possibly be.”
I have never had a struggle with alcohol. Ever. That’s not to say I never drank, I just never had a problem with it, and when the time came for me to quit, I quit. For those who don’t know the story, on Thursday August 30th 1979 I was a commercial fisherman on the largest herring seiner on the East Coast, our quotas were cut where we were fishing and so we came home for a few days and I became a Christ follower in a Sunday Evening service at 1st Wesleyan Church in Saint John New Brunswick. On Wednesday I moved into my dorm room at Bethany Bible College which is now Kingswood University. And one of the rules was “thou shalt not drink.” And I have not had a drink since that day, not a bottle of beer not a glass of wine, nada. And in those 33 years I don’t think I ever thought “wow, a cold beer would be nice right now” or “I could really use a drink.”
And so there have been times that I have had very little patience with people who struggle with alcohol. And I think “Well just stop it.”
On the other hand, I had major issues quitting smoking, serious problems. And to be truthful to this day there are times I think, “I could really use a smoke.” Does that make me a bad person? And people who have never smoked don’t understand, they call it a dirty filthy habit and can’t understand the appeal of sucking on burning organic matter that is filled with poison and will kill you. And I knew that and still know it. But that didn’t help much.
We are all tempted, but we tend to be tempted in different ways. I am not a worrier, sure there are times I worry but for the most part I don’t. But there are those out there who struggle with worry, even though they know that the Bible says “Don’t worry” they are tempted to worry about things they have no control over.
There are those who struggle with gluttony, and don’t confuse that with simply being overweight, and they are tempted to eat more than they should. There are those who struggle with lust and sexual sin, there are those who struggle with anger issues and issues of unforgiveness. There are those who struggle with drunkenness and greed, and hatred and every day there will be those who give in to those struggles and those who stand firm and don’t.
The issue isn’t whether or not we will be tempted, because we will be tempted. You have no control over that. The issue is whether or not you will give into the temptation. And you are the only one who will have control over that. Nobody else can resist temptation for you, nobody else can win that battle except you.