Why Is Temptation So Tempting?

Red Letter Christians | 9/19/2019 | Stephen Carey
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EDITOR’S NOTE: In this new Bible study series, we explore the words of Jesus and how they apply to our lives. Much of Jesus’ teachings are figurative parables and phrases which are subjective, defying one absolute interpretation. This study in no way represents the final authority on scripture or topics discussed. We welcome your thoughts and feedback in the comments, recognizing there is abundant room for disagreement without being disagreeable.

Why is temptation so tempting? What is the attraction here? Temptation is tempting because on some level or in some context it is good, or has “a good” attached to it. Temptation is not all “bad,” otherwise it would be a sin or “the wrong thing to do.” Temptation is not all “good,” otherwise it would not be tempting; it would be “the right thing to do.” Temptation is both good and bad, living within the grey areas of our conscience and subconscious, where morality and denial collide.

Counterfeit - Bill - Course - FBI - Counterfeit

Any good counterfeit $100 bill’s effectiveness depends on how closely it imitates the original. Of course, the FBI can spot a counterfeit because they have studied and worked the original, which begs the question, can you?

To the extent we know the original words of Jesus (the letters in red), we can avoid temptation seeing through its veneer. From small to big decisions of life and society, temptation dresses up the good in bright colors and extravagant outfits to distract, diminish, and hide a more significant negative impact. Intimate knowledge of the original will empower us to separate the muddied waters around us, piercing the logic of what is good in appearance but not in substance.

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The Pharisees had come up with a great new fundraising, promotional program. Donate your parent’s retirement fund to “the cause” and call it a “gift” (tax-deductible I am sure).

“Just think...
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