Temptation: A Growth Strategy?

Temptation: A Growth Strategy? EXPOSE  |  Temptation’s Extremes

“Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction.” Tim Chaddick quoting seventeenth-century English preacher John Owen

EXPLORE  |  This Calls for an Evacuation… Plan

Tim Chaddick spent some time with Ed Stetzer, and in that interview presents an interesting, if not empowering, take on our options for responding to temptation.

“In short, Temptation can kill you or make you stronger.” – Tim Chaddick

Up to this point, if you would have asked me what our response to temptation should be I would have given you the one word response I was taught: flee!  You eject–like a fighter pilot in an F-16 that’s on fire!

But getting away may be only part of the plan.  Consider thinking of our response as you would an evacuation plan.  The idea is that there is intention and purpose in our escape, not just urgency.  Less panic, more controlled response.

According to Tim, what keeps us from exercising a proper ‘getaway plan’ is that:

“Our view of temptation is too shallow (we may be in denial, giving in to ways we are not even aware of), or

Our understanding of its role in our lives is too narrow (we despair, become discouraged and fearful).”

While we need to have a healthy understanding of temptation, the growth comes not from having avoided it, but in how we trust God to effectively respond to it.

As Tim highlights from Jesus’ response to Satan in the wilderness, when tempted, we need to learn to “…lean on truth in the face of a lie.”  Being in possession of the truth allows us to hoist our shield and back away as necessary. 

EXECUTE  |  Temptation As a Growth Strategy 

When looking further at Jesus being tempted in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11), there are several points we should remember:

Temptation can find you wherever you are.  Not just after work, or when you’re with other guys, but especially when you’re alone… even in the wilderness.

Temptation can tempt you no matter who you are.  Christian leader.  Son of God.  An-y-one.

Temptation will find you.  Don’t be surprised, offended, or ashamed when it comes for you.

Temptation doesn’t mean you can’t respond without control.  Part of the reason we need to remain alert and prepared.

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strongLet all that you do be done in love. – 1 Cor. 16:13-14

The growth comes from identifying the lie, but then responding to it with truth.

“Every temptation contains a lie, which, if believed, weakens our spiritual health and leads us down a destructive path, away from what God intends. Yet each temptation can also be an opportunity to step further into Christ’s life-giving victory, launching us deeper into our true identity as the beloved of God.” – Tim Chaddick

[Original article: an exercise called temptation]

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