February 20, 2015

 Getting Real About Temptation


But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

James 1:14-16


Evangelist Kelly Green tells a story that I’ve never forgotten. It’s about how an Eskimo kills a wolf.

When an Eskimo wants to kill a wolf, he dips a razor-sharp in the blood of a seal that he has killed. After dipping the knife in blood, he sets it outside in the cold so that the blood freezes. Then, he dips it again and again, freezing layer upon layer of blood on the blade until it becomes a sort of “blood Popsicle.” (This sounds disgusting to us, but it’s delicious to a wolf!)

When the process is complete, the knife’s blade is hidden, just like a Popsicle stick. He then takes the knife out into the wilderness to a place where a wolf is likely to pass by, and buries the handle of the knife in the snow, so that the blood-covered blade is left standing.

Eventually, a wolf, guided by his keen sense of smell, will discover the “bloodsicle”. Over and over, he’ll lick it, enjoying every taste. Soon, the wolf’s tongue is numbed by the frozen blood, but he keeps licking until the razor-sharp edge of the knife is exposed. As the blade cuts into his tongue, the wolf eventually is eating his own blood, becoming weaker and weaker until he collapses. 

The next morning, the Eskimo finds the wolf’s body – trapped and destroyed by his own taste for blood.

That story – grisly as it is – is a powerful illustration of how the temptation to sin works in our lives.  We see something that we want. We go after it, disregarding the danger. And we wind up reaping the destruction of our sin.

Do not be deceived:  sin, though pleasant for a time, is deadly!  Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize temptation for what it is, and to empower you to run away from it!

Have a great day and keep moving forward!