"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."1
Nelson Searcy tells of a study that was conducted about the best tasting ice cream. Members of the control group were blindfolded and given all kinds of vanilla ice cream to taste—quality brand ice cream, gourmet ice cream, homemade ice cream, cheap ice cream and everything in between.
It didn't matter if it was gourmet, brand name, or homemade ice cream, "The number one determining factor was the percentage of fat in the ice cream. In other words, the more fat that was in the ice cream, the more people liked it."
As Searcy stated, "Now, isn't that one of the ironies of life? Why can't fried chicken, which happens to be my favorite food, be as good for you as an apple? I have never heard a doctor say—'A fried chicken leg a day will keep the doctor away.' The reason they say that is because if you had fried chicken every morning for breakfast, it would probably keep the doctor nearby because your cholesterol would shoot up. I guess I'll have to settle for apples."2
And who doesn't like a good fatty ice cream? As a kid we even used to pour pure cream over our ice cream. Yum! Yum! We had no idea how unhealthy that was.
Temptation, too, can have an overpowering attraction and appeal. It can look fabulous and at first taste very inviting—but in the long run its effects are deadly. It reminds me of an extremely beautiful fish that is found on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It's only very small but its sting is incredibly painful. It needs to be avoided at all cost. Same with sin. Regardless how attractive it appears, its end result is deadly so it needs to be avoided at all costs. As Searcy said, "When we give in to temptation, we always regret it because in the long run we always give up something greater for instant gratification right now."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to remember that while sin's temptation can be very appealing, it always pays self-destructive dividends. Through your Spirit please give me the strength to resist the lures of the evil one—and the good sense to always depend on you and not try to fight it in my own strength. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV).
2. Nelson Searcy. Source KneEmail.