guest post by Suzie Eller
“When you are tempted, remind the enemy — and yourself — that you are incredibly loved and made for more. ~ Jesus”
We tend to think of temptation as BIG.
When I think of temptation, I tend to think of BIG things. It’s cheating. It’s stealing something that’s not ours. It’s something news headline worthy or at least fodder for local gossip.
Yet that’s not normally our greatest temptation. Instead, our greatest temptations come in ways that no one sees. We are tempted to discouragement. We are tempted to give up. We are tempted to look at ourselves and see a mess.
Those temptations may not be defined as BIG, but they pile up like mountains in our heart and thoughts. They get in the way of God’s best for us, and they trip us up.
Just this past week I was tempted.
No one saw it. If I wanted, I could push it down, down, down where I didn’t have to acknowledge it. Rather than be ashamed of temptation, the truth is we all struggle with it. If I pretend that I don’t, I’m lying to myself (and to you).
It started innocent enough. Richard and I were enjoying a rare night out together. He said something, and I disagreed. I pushed back, and so did he. Before we knew it, it sat between us like a boulder.
I was tempted to make him see it my way.
I was tempted to keep talking until he “got it.”
I was tempted to be angry when he didn’t.
I have to be honest. I was more than tempted. I caved in to all three of those things.
Don’t do it.
Oh, no. Not you! Not the Holy Spirit when I’m fully ready to cave in. After all, I’m right (even though he thinks he’s right).
So, I tried to compromise (because I was tempted, so more caving in).
Okay, I won’t say anything more.
I won’t try to make him see it my way. I’ll just be silent. Deafeningly silent. On the outside, we’ll look like the perfect couple enjoying a night out. Richard will reach for my hand, and I’ll hold it. I’ll nod and maybe say a word or two, but we’ll all be aware that I’m still angry. I’ll be so miserable that he’ll be miserable too.
Don’t do it.
There it was again. That invitation to take a different path. To resist temptation that seemed small, but Jesus knew had the power to create a divot in my heart (and relationship) if I chose.
Temptation isn’t reserved for a few. In Luke 4, the enemy tried to tempt Jesus. Some of the temptations were big, but others incredibly small. Jesus met each with the same response.
He faced the enemy head-on, declaring that His love for His Father was greater than a right-now temptation. He refused to be deceived by one who cared less about Him, and more about the destruction of His soul.
Jesus understands how hard it is to be tempted. When we are tempted in any way, we are offered an invitation. We are invited to remind the enemy — and ourselves – that we are made for more.
That night I had a choice. First, to acknowledge that every temptation is BIG, when it filters into an enemy’s plan for my heart, or my marriage.
Second, to go the other direction of that temptation.
I reached for Richard’s hand, and said I was sorry.
I still felt I was “right,” but being right was less important than a right relationship with the guy I loved. He saw it one way. I saw it another. We are two different people, and that’s going to happen.
Sure, there are times we have to work through BIG conflict to find what is right for us as a family or in a relationship, but in this instance, it really was small. Even if I was right, it didn’t change anything.
However, realizing that I was made for more than a petty disagreement did change something – it changed me.
It wasn’t the first time I’ve been tempted. It won’t be the last. We all face temptation.
Whether it’s BIG or incredibly small (in the eyes of the world), we are not without help when temptation comes our way. And if we fail – because sometimes we all do – we won’t be tempted to give up or hide, because Jesus offers all of us forgiveness and a fresh start.
Are you tempted?
Look that temptation in the eye. Remind the author of it that you are incredibly loved, and made for more.
Suzie Eller is an author, international speaker, Bible teacher, top 100 Christian women’s blogger, and popular media guest. Suzie has served Proverbs Ministries for 10 years. And has been featured on Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, Harvest Show, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, Daystar and many others. She’s a regular contributor to KLRC radio’s Words that Make a Positive Difference.
Suzie Eller just released her latest book, Come With Me: A Yearlong Adventure in Following Jesus. and she wants to share what she’s discovered with you. Here’s what you’ll want to do:
- Leave a comment below to enter the Come With Me book giveaway.
- Visit Suzie’s website HERE and download 5 FREE audio devotionals and Scripture journal pages.
- Purchase your own copy of Come With Me at these following sites:
*If you purchase the book through Proverbs 31 Ministries, the cost is a bit higher but 100% of the profits go right back into reaching women all over the world through First5, Encouragement for Today devotions, radio, and P31 OBS.
Big thanks to Suzie Eller and her team at Bethany House Publishers for this giveaway offer!
UPDATE: Congratulations to Heidi Amoth! She is our winner of this week’s giveaway! Thanks to everyone else for leaving your comments. Your words matter!