I spent this past week memorizing 1 Corinthians 10:13 as part of an exercise with the larger Grace Church family. It is a powerful verse that I have found myself quoting quite regularly over the past seven days when faced with temptation. But I must confess that the first line of that verse has got me thinking.
The verse begins by stating that "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." As I pondered this for a while, here are two thoughts that came to mind;
1) I believe our enemy seeks to deceive me into thinking that I am the only person on the planet earth who faces the temptations I face. When I begin to feel this way, I quickly become very defeated as I buy into the lie that I must be a horrible Christ follower if I'm experiencing these types of temptations (even though I may resist them). I (along with all of us) need to realize that we all face common temptations. Nothing is original to me. Mankind has been facing the temptations I face for a long time. Therefore, I need to stand firm in Christ and His Word as God has equipped all of us and provided all of us with a way to resist and stand firm in the common temptations of life.
2) If I understand this passage correctly, then all of us face very similar temptations on a daily basis. If this is true, then I just have one question to ask; "Why don't we speak with one another more openly and honestly about the common temptations we fight and face regularly?" Has the church in North America become so full of gossip, legalism and cynicism that we would rather "fake it" than honestly share life together in even the temptations of life. If we all have this in common, then why do we go around pretending it doesn't exist. I believe this too is yet another tool of the evil one to have us fighting temptation on our own rather than willingly let brother's and sister's in Christ hold us accountable. As I reflected on this, I'm thankful for the accountability in my life and look to continue building it into my life as I want to finish well for Jesus.
Thank goodness for a sympathetic high priest who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin. (Hebrews 4:14-16) Jesus was willing to say (Warning: Auld paraphrase to follow), "I have this in common with you guys, let me help you win the fight choice by choice."