Saturday, December 12, 2009

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man.” (1 Corinthians 10.13)

New Testament Challenge, Day 28 – 1 Corinthians 10-16
As we struggle every day to read our challenge chapters (it takes me about 30 minutes just to read) this verse came as great comfort. I’m not alone in my struggle nor are my temptations unique to me. Of course that can be a blow to my ego if I want to play the role as martyr (I mean here the pejorative sense) because “nobody suffers like me,” or I can take comfort and seek advice from others like my Spiritual Father or Christian friends/brothers and sisters in the Lord because I know that I am not the only one being tempted.

I know this too from hearing confessions. When I was a young man going to confession I always thought I was alone in the temptations I fought. It wasn’t until I grew older and began to confide in other Christians that we all face the same temptation. And we all have the same salvation from temptation, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now as a confessor I can offer peace and comfort to those who struggle with temptation so they too know they are not alone. Of course this is normally only well received by those who are spiritually prepared to hear of common Christian struggle.

“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able.” (1 Corinthians 10.13) This may be the most comforting words any Christian can hear. These words bring courage and patience in an otherwise frantic attempt to avoid temptation. If we wish to say no then we will be strong enough to carry through. Nothing can force us to act against our will. Of course we are weak and the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness (see New Testament Challenge Day 25).

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