Temptation has a revealing effect, uncovering the heart’s desires, proving both the depth and direction of your conviction. It shows what you’re really committed to, what you really care about, what has captured your deepest affections. The type of person we become—courageous, fearful, paranoid, brave, stingy, generous—is shaped by what we love the most. The trouble is, according to the Bible, our loves are all out of order. Will I be willing to admit a wrongdoing when I am convicted by God’s Spirit or will I choose to bury it because I love appearing faultless in front of people? Will I be willing to admit my need for correction or will I choose a façade because I love appearing right before others? Will I say no when I am asked to overwork or will I say yes because I love to be needed? The greatest temptations lure us by replacing truth with lies, authenticity with appearance, and love of God with love of self.
We must look within and ask, what is it that we love most?
Like it or not, these choices must be made daily. And our choices have consequences not only affecting our own souls but the souls of those around us for good or bad. But this reality should neither lead us to denial nor leave us in despair. Because the topic of temptation raises the issues of the heart, it’s not enough just to have some good principles in place hoping that through our rule-keeping or image-management we will actually bring inside-out change. Temptation is a battle but it’s not just about winning or losing, it’s about discovering who you really are. And what you love most. This book is about how the gospel so transforms us that even moments of temptation become the training ground for a life of abundance as our hearts are radically reshaped and reordered by the love of Jesus for us.
Because ultimately, the key to facing temptation is not a principle. It’s a person.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT