The pic above reveals my latest, and maybe greatest, new temptation. No, not a Honda S2000 sports car, one that tempts me to break every speed limit I can. No, just a regular and slow 4 cylinder Accord. But one with a handicapped plate, one that allows the vehicle to park free at meters instead of paying a fee, to park close to stores instead of six miles away, and even to use high occupancy lanes when alone. So why the temptation? I’m not handicapped. Now, my wife has fibromyalgia and qualifies, but only when she’s in the vehicle.
Frankly, I’d not been tempted before in this area. We had a handicapped sticker, one that when alone I had to intentionally take out of the console and hang from the rear view mirror. I knew it would be wrong, so that effort provided a pause to think and stop.
So when alone recently in heavy traffic on the freeway, the temptation to slip into the carpool lane surprised me with its intensity. No one would know. I could get away with it. OK, I resisted, but I still face that in crowded parking lots. OK, this is not the greatest temptation I face, but it forced me to explore what tempts me.
Why is this a temptation? In part, the law says I can’t, and levies a heavy penalty if I got caught. But deeper still, the foundation of all temptation rears its head—self advancement. Putting self first, above others who truly need it. People, that lies at the heart of all temptation.
Most freshly, I also realized how temptations change with the seasons of our lives, our experiences, our growth. We can easily build a false confidence if we do a decent job handling our typical ones. But Satan’s creativity will look for any new avenue to get at us. So, be aware. Look for the spiritual implications of all we do. We tend to be most vulnerable spiritually when we live on autopilot and ignore the fact that anything not done from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
Maybe we all need to explore how temptation works in our lives.
Kick Starting the Application
Have you noticed any new issues tempting you lately? You might want to ask God to reveal any fresh ones. Ask him to help you be aware of their presence and importance. Ask him to help you best handle them. Have you become confident of dealing with temptation? And, take some time to ponder why giving in to temptation damages both us and our intimacy with God.