August 26, 2022
A Way Out
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).
Friend to Friend
It started innocently enough. A friend said something. I disagreed. For whatever reason, her words hit a tender spot. It was important that we talk about it because she mattered to me, yet I was hit with a myriad of temptations.
I was tempted to make her see it my way.
I was tempted to keep talking until she “got it.”
I was tempted to let my frustration simmer between us.
Don’t do it.
A gentle nudge in my spirit asked me to consider a different way.
Can we be honest that we are all tempted from time to time? In today’s passage, Paul reminds us of that fact.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).
When we think about being tempted “beyond what we can bear,” we may think this includes only big temptations. Yet the truth is we wrestle just as much or more with the smaller moments.
I can’t bear that he doesn’t understand.
I can’t bear that she hurt my heart by not inviting me.
I can’t bear that this child of mine takes what I do for granted.
In the bigger temptations, we usually take a step back. We are aware there are consequences. Yet with smaller temptations, we may not pause. We may not consider how they take a toll, so we plunge in.
The Bible tells a story of Jesus being tempted (Luke 4). Some of those temptations seemed really big. Others smaller. He met each with the same response. First, He recognized who was behind the temptation – an enemy who desired to distract Him from God’s best. Second, he chose a different direction, one that led him away from the right-now temptation.
When I was with my friend, I had the same invitation. I needed to acknowledge the temptation, and who was behind it, as well as the cost. Though it seemed small, it had the power to put a divot in our relationship. If it was important enough to talk through, then I needed to do that in a healthy and gentle way. My invitation was to move in the opposite direction of the temptation.
I could try to make her see it my way or ask her to clarify so I could better understand her way.
I could keep talking until she “got it,” or I could acknowledge that we are two different people, and we may see things differently, and that’s okay. It doesn’t change who she is to me.
I could let frustration simmer between us, or I could have a healthy conversation.
If you are tempted, you are not alone in that.
Acknowledge it. Ask God for wisdom to meet it head on and to work through it with His help. Big or small, God promises a way up and out.
God, when big temptations come my way, I sense the magnitude of them and run to You. But often I overlook the small temptations and how they draw me away from Your best for me. Give me the courage to not allow them to pile up and become big in my heart and in my relationships. Thank You for helping me to walk a different path, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one smaller temptation that pesters you? Name it. Bring it to the Light.
Ask God to show you a different way to meet it, with His help.
More from the Girlfriends
Those whom Jesus loved wanted nothing more than to follow Jesus, but at times they struggled. In Suzie’s book, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads, she shares how we can say yes to Jesus in every part of our life, and how that impacts not only us, but the world around us.
If you love to start your day with scripture and prayer, tune into Suzie’s brand-new podcast, Prayer Starters. You can find it on your favorite podcast platform or at KLRC.
© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 26 August 2022.