Lead Me Not!
No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. God won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. With the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (CEB, adapted)
Temptation Island was a fantastically terrible reality show several years back. Monogamous couples went to a tropical paradise to test the strength of their relationship when tempted by romantic dinners and lusty late night hot tub dates with irresistibly attractive female and male models. One TV reviewer said the show marked “a level of unprecedented sleaziness.”
And I watched every episode.
What couple in their right minds would tempt themselves like this? Imagine the conversations that led them to apply for the show: “It’ll be fun! We’re faithful! We’ll be famous!” Meanwhile in Hot Tub Cove…
Tempting, indeed. And certainly not uncommon temptations.
Personally, I don’t need to be on a manufactured reality show to struggle with temptation. Actual reality is my own personal temptation island. And I don’t think that’s uncommon.
How often we have prayed, “Lead me not into temptation,” yet we lead ourselves there? Temptation is all around. If we can’t remove or avoid it, we can name it and turn from it. Maybe the God-given way out, the way to endure it is to name it out loud to someone else (confess it!), then turn away (reject and repent!) and put some distance between yourself and temptation.
Maybe those couples on Temptation Island got it right in one small but important way: We do not have to face temptation alone.
If you can’t help stop me from buying a plane ticket there, God, then please show me the way out of my own Temptation Island. Amen.
Chris Mereschuk (he/him) is an Unsettled Pastor and the Founder of RevCJM, LLC, specializing in church vitality and Legacy consulting and coaching.