|Ease and Indulgence|
The Story: Spend much time contemplating the life of the wicked and I suppose it can begin to look pretty good. Of course, we only see what we want to see – ease, fatness, pride, willfulness, good times, and a haughty spirit. We don’t see the loneliness, guilt, shame, and misery of the wicked, or the fear they have of losing all their wealth and ease. They only show the world their prosperity and self-indulgence, and that’s all we choose to see when we’re thinking about how good it would be to be like them. But who does this? Well, if Asaph, a prophet and worship leader, could be enticed by the lives of the wicked around him, who are we to think we can escape? One way we can know that we’re being confronted by temptation is when we find ourselves admiring wickedness, seeing only what appeals to us and none of the dangers, and beginning to imagine ourselves getting in on some of that action.
The Structure: Temptation is a constant in a fallen world. German theologian Helmut Thielicke once defined temptation as finding ourselves at the point of wanting to be disloyal to God. It can be hard to remember that when temptation is parading its charms before our eyes. King Solomon brought down all the glory of Israel that God had allowed him to achieve because he failed to deal with the temptations of the flesh that his foreign wives posed (1 Kgs. 11). We must learn to recognize temptation and know that, if we fall through it, we will be in rebellion against God and on the wrong side of His loving discipline. Keeping this in mind when temptation arises can help us to deal with it effectively. In our day we have seen plenty of highly visible Christian leaders who have given in to temptation. Their failures have hurt the cause of Christ immeasurably, just as ours will, in our own spheres of influence, if we fail to recognize temptation and grow through it as the Lord intends.
It’s not sin to find ourselves being tempted. But at some point we begin to cross over from temptation to sin. How do you know where that point is? What can you do to avoid finding yourself there?
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.