Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I think it was W.C. Fields who once said, “I can resist anything but temptation.” Since the dawn of time, that seems to be the irresistible lure. Certainly, as a parent and dog-owner (yes, I just placed those two roles in the same category…I live in Seattle) I see ample examples of my children (and my dog) wrestling with temptation. So far, I’m working in the realm of “given,” no arguments here. It goes without saying, I also see how I struggle with temptation myself.
The other night, Jodie and Caleb were having a mommy date, and they had decided to curl up with some popcorn and watch the deeply theological movie, Back to the Future. But Jodie needed to do a quick store run first. So before she left, she made Caleb PROMISE not to start the movie until she got back. Which he did in wide-eyed faith. Five minutes after she left, Caleb and I are in full blown wrestle-mode, pictures rattling on the walls, and in a panting moment of stillness I throw out the question, “Hey Bud, you wanna start the movie now?”
A heartbeat of silence. Then Caleb yells, “NO!!!” I say, ok, ok, settle down. I just thought I’d throw a little temptation your way. And he smiles, “DAD, I’m not like Adam and Eve.”
In the first, unfortunate, place, we all are in many respects JUST like Adam and Eve.
In the second, delightful, place, this is the reason Jesus came. To forgive us when we stumble, to clean us up, and to set us into a right relationship with God. This is the reason Jesus is called Savior. We find ourselves in the embarrassing position of needing to be saved.
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you. Psalm 130:3,4 NLT
Because it turns out it’s true…we can resist anything but temptation.