Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lenten Devotional...Feb 10

Temptation Strikes the Best of Us
Matthew 4:1-11

Lillian Daniel

Temptation strikes the best of us, truly. Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. He had been fasting, so what do you think the devil came up with? Food, of course, and, later, earthly power. The devil knew what Jesus would be tempted by.

The UCC is a church accustomed to taking on and debating the hard questions about the key issues of our day. Yet in the personal moral struggles that we face in our day-to-day lives, we may not be as bold.

There are two situations that lead to doing the wrong thing. The first is perplexity, when we truly do not know which is the right course to take. The second situation is temptation. We're simply tempted by something we want so much that we are willing to do the wrong thing to get it.

We human beings don't want to admit that we are in that second category of mere temptation. So what do we do? We mistake temptation for perplexity. We say we had no idea what to do, or what we were doing, when really we were just tempted.

Prayer: Dear Lord, when I am faced with an important moral decision, help me to know the difference between perplexity and temptation. When I truly do not know what to do, guide me. And when I am merely tempted, guide me with a little firmer hand, please, so that I don't fool myself. Amen.

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