Summary: Taking a look at our fatih in this current world and its temptations, particularly two: Social Acceptance and Personal Prestige. What is our choice; to follow the Christ or the world?
Which is Stronger; Our Enduring Faith or Today’s Temptations?
This past Tuesday morning I had finally settled down into my easy chair to read the daily news paper. As always, I turned to the editorial section of which is one of favorites, besides the daily “Frank and Ernest” cartoon. There I found a very interesting Readers Commentary entitled, “Catholic Lifestyle is Counter Cultural Today,” written by a Mount Savage resident, Nancy E. Thoering.
One of the paragraphs jumped off the page at me as I read her commentary about not just living a Catholic lifestyle but living a Christian lifestyle as well. Her statement just kept sticking with me as I continued to read the rest of the morning paper, to the point that I returned again to the editorial page and re-read the entire commentary.
The paragraph that really spoke to me and I now share with you is this: “Faith, after all, is a way of life, Church is our springboard into the mystery of God, where we strive to live by His commandments and prepare to return to Him in eternity.”
She then continues: “For Christians, adhering to God means embracing Christ’s cross and hoping to share in His resurrection.”
In a nut shell, Ms. Thoering’s commentary was about how times have changed and that we as Christians have altered the state of our belief systems to become politically correct and culturally acceptable. What do you think?
Have we become so impatient with life that we will do whatever it takes to be accepted even if it means going against the grain of our Biblical based faith? Have we become so lost in our worldly culture that we are willing to forego our belief system in order to gain social acceptance? Where do you and I and the entire church stand when it comes to the temptations of this world to engage in the idol worship of status and prestige?
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” [1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV 2011].
Temptation: allurement, enticement, lure, seduction. These are the words to describe this vice in which we find ourselves faced with on a fairly regular basis. We are human and therefore will always be bombarded by temptation. No one of us is left out. We all have temptations that come our way each and every day that we breathe and they will not end until we draw our last breath.
So if we are to remain faithful in our relationship with God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, how can we overcome the forces of temptation when they occur? Or is it even possible to do so? Can we really continue to live by following God’s commands and precepts as taught by the Christ? Is it achievable? Is it plausible?
Even before these questions can be answered there are a few things that we have to grasp and hang on to if we are genuine in our search to find ways to overcome the temp-tations of life. It takes patience! It requires patience, with our self, with the rest of man-kind and with God, the Father. It also entails having great faith! It takes faith in one’s self to have a steadfast assurance with God, the Father knowing He is always there, no matter what!
A great illustration from the Book of Exodus is the story of Moses, the Children of Israel and the Golden Calf.
Moses is up on Mount Sinai (the mountain of God) and the Children of Israel are encamped at the bottom awaiting His return. Moses is talking with God and the Israelites are becoming very impatient. Moses is receiving the Law and they are about to break the very first one.
Even Aaron, the temporary leader appointed by Moses before his exit up to the mountain, has become a little restless and is already contemplating a way for the people and himself to find a bit of relief from their impatience. As far as they know, Moses has been up there on the mountain for an extended time and even possibly dead for all they know. And as for God, He too has moved on the mountain and no longer protecting them with the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. “Is Moses ever coming back? Is Jehovah leaving us here in the middle of this desert to die?” they ask each other.
Now something we all need to understand before we go to pointing fingers. Mankind has been created with a burning desire to have a personal relationship with some type of higher power and deity. This is the basis for the origin of all religions. It is why religion in any form exists today.