Midweek Meditation: Trial and Temptation

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved. James 1:12-16

From the very beginning is has been our first instinct to blame others for our own sins or for things that happen to us in our lives.  The writer of the Book of Genesis telling the story of the first sin in the Garden of Eden writes about Adam being challenged by God about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and Adam responds by blaming the woman, but only the woman, the woman that God gave him.

“The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12

The great Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote:

“Thou know’st that Thou hast formed me with the passions wild and strong; and listening to their witching voice has often led me wrong.”

Humanity has always been good at blaming others.  “God made me do it,” if often heard from the lips of people even today.  The blame I laid on God, on others, on everyone but ourselves.  But James rebukes those who would do this and urges humanity to take responsibility when we do wrong.  For James, the only person responsible is the person himself and our own evil desire.

But the great value of this passage is that it urges us to take personal responsibility for our actions, and it also shows us that God will never leave us, God does not send temptations or trials along our path, but when the trials come, and they will, God will be there with us.

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