We all know life is unfair.
Some of us suffer more than others. Some of us endure more trials than others. Sometimes these trials are temptations are so persuasive they get us into trouble.
James has said that these temptations test our faithfulness. And, as a result we should learn endurance and, eventually become mature.
Where do these trials come from? Is this God’s way of “pushing us” into maturity?
Well, not exactly, says James.
The Bottom Line: Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, but we should learn from our mistakes.
“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.” (NRSV)
“Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters.” (NETS)
“How blissful the man who endures trial, because—having become proven—he will receive the crown of the life that he has promised to those who love him. Let no one who is being tempted say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is incapable of temptation by evil things, and himself tempts no one. But everyone is tempted by his own desire, being drawn away and enticed; This desire, having conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin fully grown bears death as its offspring. Do not go astray, my beloved brothers.” (David Bentley Hart)
“God’s blessing on the man who endures testing! When he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Nobody being tested should say, ‘It’s God that’s testing me’, for God cannot be tested by evil, and he himself tests nobody. Rather, each person is tested when they are dragged off and enticed by their own desires. Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin; and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear family.” (NT Wright)
“Μακάριος ἀνὴρ ὃς ὑπομένει πειρασμόν, ὅτι δόκιμος γενόμενος λήμψεται τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς, ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν. μηδεὶς πειραζόμενος λεγέτω ὅτι Ἀπὸ θεοῦ πειράζομαι· ὁ γὰρ θεὸς ἀπείραστός ἐστιν κακῶν, πειράζει δὲ αὐτὸς οὐδένα. ἕκαστος δὲ πειράζεται ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἐξελκόμενος καὶ δελεαζόμενος· εἶτα ἡ ἐπιθυμία συλλαβοῦσα τίκτει ἁμαρτίαν, ἡ δὲ ἁμαρτία ἀποτελεσθεῖσα ἀποκύει θάνατον. μὴ πλανᾶσθε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί.”
What is The Way?
Fr. Dustin Lyon explores scripture to rediscover Christianity so that we can walk in the Way of the Lord.