From: Tempted, Tested, True
By: Arnie Cole & Michael Ross
The Birds and the Bees—and the Birth of Death
Conception, birth, maturation—death? An initial read of Paul’s analogy seems a bit strange to the ears. He actually personifies sin, referring to it as a separate being with an existence of its own. Yet this is a Hebrew way of looking at sin. The ancient Jews thought that desires—even words—could have a life of its own. One example was their belief that after a word had been spoken, it could not be retrieved or reversed, and it continued to move forward and became a force with consequences that could not be controlled. That’s how James viewed temptation and sin.
Let’s move in for a closer look at how enticement, conception, gestation, and birth apply to temptation. But this time, let’s view them from biological-relational perspectives. In other words, we’re going to talk about the birds and the bees. (Bear with me, okay?)
It starts with a pang of desire—an alluring thought, a fantasy that could perhaps become reality. What if? Who would it hurt? How would it feel? And if we entertain these thoughts for very long—instead of fleeing them—an “innocent pang” progresses to flirting … then dating, and eventually the decision to commit.
What a telling example of how temptation becomes sin!
First we acknowledge that we’re attracted. We may “run into it” at unexpected times. Eye contact and body language begin to reveal the extent of our attraction and desire. We gradually move through all the stages of intimacy, engaging sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound.
From Tempted, Tested, True
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