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Everyday Enticements - Part 4

By: Arnie Cole & Michael Ross

A Pervasive Pattern

We gloss over all kinds of sins in our lives. Sometimes we put jobs, relationships, possessions, or hobbies between us and God, but instead of calling them idolatry, we call them priorities or needs. Sometimes we lie about why we’re late for work or why one of our children is staying home from school, but we call it PR spin or embellishing the truth. But all of these sins deteriorate our relationship with God and others, and even desiccate our own souls.

We do ourselves a disservice when we minimize what we consider “small sins” and fail to recognize the powerful sting of seemingly innocent temptations. In his treatise On Temptation, the seventeenth-century Puritan John Owen observes “how full is the world” of those who have fallen into temptation and then proceeded into great sin and death. He thus charges, “is it not time for us to awake before it be too late,—to watch against the first rising of sin, the first attempts of Satan, and all ways whereby he hath made his approaches to us, be they never so harmless in themselves?”[1]

Temptation can seem harmless on the surface, or we may tell ourselves it’s harmless. But succumbing to temptation leads into powerfully destructive consequences, and thus it requires our most careful diligence to identify it, speak honestly about it, and resist it from its very “first rising” in our lives.

[1] John Owen, Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It; the Danger of Entering into It; and the Means of Preventing That Danger, in vol. 6 of The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), 150. Italics added.

From Tempted, Tested, True

© Back to the Bible.


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