Daily D – 1 Corinthians 10:13
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (NLT)
You are a moral failure. So am I.
Confession is good for the soul, isn’t it? It’s also really, really uncomfortable.
I have lived and worked in a space where people like to talk about spiritual accountability. I recently found a set of accountability questions a church staff team used with one another some years ago. After reading the questions, I couldn’t help but wonder how often every person on that team lied. I was also grateful I wasn’t on that team.
Accountability to those guys sounded like spiritual policing. Confess the magic sin, and, Poof! You are off the team.
Here’s an observation that first occurred to me when I was in college: Everyone struggles with something. No single one of us has it all together. We each require copious amounts of grace. We best live out that grace when we extend it to others.
What is the temptation you struggle with most? Please note that you do not have to answer aloud. There is no need to email me your signature sin. This is between you and Jesus. He can handle it better than I, and he also knows the perfect remedy.
Everyone struggles with something. If we had a day where we could freely confess our sins to one another without fear of condemnation and, in unity, seek forgiveness, wholeness, and restoration, we could make a long list of our most challenging hangups. I’m guessing many entries on the whiteboard would be the same.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.” There’s a really good chance someone you know well has the same struggle you do. Before we celebrate our struggles, let’s go on to the rest of the verse.
“And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
1. God is faithful.
2. He will not allow temptation to be more than you can stand.
3. He will show you a way out.
4. God’s grace empowers you to endure, persevere, overcome.
The Message paraphrases this verse this way:
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face.
All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; _
he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit;
he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
My bride and I recently spent many quality hours on airplanes. There are two things I look for when I board an airliner. First, I look for overhead storage for my bag. Second, I look for the exits. Looking for exits is a discipline that benefits us not only in air travel but in every moment of our day. We need to develop the self-discipline to find the exit when the temptation arises.
To get good at this, ask God to heighten your awareness of exits. Ask him for the self-discipline to walk away from temptation. Ask him also for the self-control to run when necessary.
You and I will not become overnight successes at fleeing temptation. We can build the muscles of self-discipline and self-control and begin to live more confidently and courageously.
What could help you build these muscles? Find a Bible verse that helps you refocus your mind when temptation comes. Find a song to sing that turns your thoughts toward worship. Write STOP on an index card and put it in your pocket or purse. Pull it out as often as you need it. God’s EXIT signs come in all shapes and sizes.
The next time someone wants to pull you into spiritual policing, invite them instead to help you keep promises you make to yourself. Offer to help them keep the promises they make to themselves. Accountability is much more helpful when we are in it together rather than playing Gotcha! Let’s build up one another and not tear one another down. The Apostle Paul had a lot to say about that also. You can look it up.
I will look for and take God’s exits away from temptation and sin, and I will help others do the same.
Our Father, I am weak, but you are strong. I need your strength to empower me to flee from temptation. I need your exit pathways. Build in me the self-discipline to find the exits before I need them. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“