t become deceitful even adulterous? Or, does God have a different idea in mind when we are tempted?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Is it wrong to love someone not your spouse? There are many in our secular culture today that would find this a bit of nonsense since it happens all the time; isn’t that why people get divorces? Since the divorce rate in our country exceeds the rate of faithfulness, it would seem obvious that falling in love more than once is natural and we ought not to deny our feelings. Many is the Christian though who has struggled with a feeling of love and affection for someone other than their spouse. You see, It does happen to Christians as well as to the ungodly? In fact, many Christians struggle with this. Unfortunately, for most it rouses feelings of guilt. Confronted with their feelings they wonder: “I met someone quite by accident and now I have feelings for them that I’m uncomfortable with. I feel so guilty! I know that I’m sinning just by feeling this way.” Is it a sin, or is it the temptation that simply makes us feel uncomfortable?
There are many sins in this world and marital unfaithfulness is certainly one of those sins that is both rampant and concerning–both to Christians and to God? But is feeling tempted wrong?
Here’s a story. A scene from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress portrays Interpreter bringing Christian to a wall where fire is blazing from a grate. A man is trying to douse the fire with water. Then Interpreter shows Christian the other side of the wall, where another man is secretly pouring oil on the fire to keep it ablaze. Interpreter says, “You saw the man standing behind the wall to maintain the fire, teaching you that it is hard for the tempted to see how this work of grace is maintained in the soul.” Satan tries to quench faith, but Christ keeps it alive. (Pilgrim’s Progress.)
Paul instructs the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man . . .” Being tempted isn’t a sin. Every Christian is confronted by temptations and feeling bad about them is natural. However, temptations are not prevalent in this life so that we can merely become adept at escaping them. God allows temptations to serve his purposes making you and I adept at rising above them, and not buried under them. As Oswald Chambers put it, “Temptation is . . . the realization of the highest at which I am––not towards what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good.” It’s not wrong to fall in love with someone else. It’s wrong, however, not to catch ourselves before a blossoming deceit becomes and adulterous thought or action. Every temptation has the potential to built us up while also possessing the potential to tear us down. It comes down to choices.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for always giving us a way to rise above temptation no matter how deep or opportunistic our feelings might be at the moment of that temptation. Forgive us when we fall into temptations that you’ve clearly marked as dangerous but avoidable if we but appeal to your grace and mercy to fill the gap between them and us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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