[guestpost]Today I’m welcoming my sweet friend Suzie Eller to the blog. Suzie is a prolific and well-loved Proverbs 31 speaker and author, and today I’ve invited her to share a snippet from her new book Come With Me Devotional: A Year Long Adventure in Following Jesus. Suzie is a deep well of wisdom and grace, forged in the fire of real life. I’m also giving away a copy of her book (!) to one lucky reader. Be sure to leave a comment at the end to be entered for the drawing. Now, here’s my friend Suzie. [/guestpost]
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 his Him, and more about the destruction of His soul.
Jesus understands how hard it is to be tempted. He knows you were made for more.
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 has a free gift for you: “13 Prayers for Come With Me”, a free PDF to encourage you to accept the invitation to follow Jesus wherever He goes. Click here to subscribe and receive the PDF in your inbox.
Suzanne Eller (Suzie) has served Proverbs 31 Ministries for 10 years. She’s an author, international speaker and Bible teacher, top 100 Christian women’s blogger, and popular media guest. She loves nothing more than watching God work in the heart of a woman.
[reminder]Are you facing a temptation you need to turn from? What’s a first step to go a different direction? LEAVE A COMMENT below to be entered to win a copy of Suzie’s new devotional book! [/reminder]
I have never before looked at temptation like this before. I love that now I can look at it as an invitation! Thank you so much!
The temptation is the distraction of too much time spent on social media.
Oh Julie, that’s a huge temptation, and one that distracts us from good things more than we know. Recently I felt compelled to treat my phone as if it were just a phone (while at home, or when I’m with others). If I wanted to check social media, or my latest email, I go to my computer. I was shocked at how often the pull to my phone came up in those first few hours and days. It’s such a convenience, and when I’m on the road it’s my calendar, my computer, my connection, but it had become more than that — and I had it in my hand constantly, even when people I really loved were close.
My temptation lately has been allowing myself to feel offended at things without knowing the intentions of a heart. I give into it. I hold imaginary confrontational conversations. When I stop myself and really listen to the Spirit, love wins. It feels so much better than judgment!
This is strong, Linda! I love this. You are believing the best before assuming the worst, and that’s absolutely relationship changing. It also changes us as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead that conversation.
I have been tempted much lately, on my morning commute, to open my mouth and get tanked off at drivers “not doing the right thing”. The more I do so, the less peace I have. Lately, I have been slowly offering any form of prayer for them. Not sure if it is helping them (as they speed away!) but it is helping redirect the course of the start, and in all honesty, the balance of my day.
Beautiful! Prayer is powerful and effective. What if we all did the same, Bruce? Thank you for sharing.
I love this post. I’ve never thought about the little things as temptations and there is so much truth there.
I am faced with that same temptation of making sure my husband knows I am right many times a day. Thank you for the advise to let it go and surrender the need to be right.
Great reminder on the every day journey. Being “right” can be so wrong sometimes. We have choices all the time. Mercy, submission, resisting temptation. Lord, help us!
I really enjoyed this. It is so true that we generally only consider the BIG temptations, but even the small ones can become BIG. In my younger years, I backslid when I rationalized that God didn’t really mean THAT, that it would be OK if I married a man who said he was a Christian, but there were red flags when I look back that told me he wasn’t. Thank you for your transparency.
I struggle with the temptation to voice my disgust over the way my body looks now verses how it looked this time last year. My poor husband thinks I’m so beautiful. I am relearning how to give myself “grace in the mirror” while remembering that I am still fighting Breaast Cancer.
Thank you for the reminder of temptation!!
Tempted to buy things I can do without
Wow! This us a different concept than I have thought of temptation but so revealing and important to remember. Thank-you
Michele I ‘be also enjoyed the seven week I Am videos!!
I enjoyed this practical example of
And the lovely picture saying we are made for more!
I’ll forward this to a friend or two
THANKYOU fir using your gift
For His glory
What a great post on temptation! Thank you!