“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:13-15 (NKJV)
I write daily to keep my commitments and meet deadlines, but every time I sit at the computer, I’m enticed by e-mail and the desire to visit Web sites I rarely get to visit because I’m so busy. To avoid succumbing to temptation, I usually make myself write my daily devotion so it’s done before I hit my send/receive button, my main Internet connection prompt.
The key word here, though, is “usually.” One day I didn’t heed normal protocol. My mom called and asked me to look up a Web page for her. It sounded quick enough to do right away, and I figured connecting to the Internet with my Web browser instead of e-mail would be enough to avert temptation. Once connected, though, I thought, “I’ll just download e-mail real quick. It’ll only take a minute.” Sure enough, I was right.
It only took a minute, a minute for desire to give birth to sin. Two hours later I had used all my writing time and was kicking myself for not having my devotion done. I should have known to keep protocol, the thing God gave me to overcome my computer temptations. I hoped the next time I would be wiser to wait until after I had done my duties before doing a favor for someone.
It’s so easy to use good things as excuses for doing what we want. And it so often gets us in trouble: Our sins sneak up on us because, like my desire to do e-mail and Web browse, they aren’t sins in themselves. The problems come when we try to fulfill our desires when we should be doing something else. So be careful the next time a good thing gives you reason to put aside your commitments or rearrange priorities. A careful, prayerful check will probably reveal you can do both while keeping priorities in line.
Father, please forgive us when we allow disruptions in the priorities you set for us. Help us stick to protocol and thereby avoid temptation.
Thank You. Amen.
Brandy S. Brow lives in Vermont with her husband and seven children. She enjoys entertaining, teaching, and encouraging through the written word, and loves to help writers via freelance editing and mentorship. www.brandybrow.com