Wednesday, March 14, 2012


During a Bible study earlier today, I had a sudden realization.  Well, I guess it would be more apt to call it a sudden remembrance of something I hadn't thought about in a while.  I remembered/realized that temptation is not always about wanting something bad.  Obviously, there are bad things that we sometimes want and can be a source of temptation, but this isn't always the case.

There are times when we are tempted by something that is good.  For example, success, the ability to support oneself and/or one's family, and receiving a good review/grade are positive things that we can want.  We can want them so bad, however, that we may be tempted to do something negative in order to achieve those goals.  Maybe it is taking credit for someone else's work in order to get ahead or cheating on a test so you can pass the class.  Whatever the method is, we can lure ourselves (or be lured by others) into thinking that, simply because our end goal is a good one, it's ok for us to do something that's maybe a bit unethical in order to get it.  In short, we become convinced that the end justifies the means.

I could go on and on about how this is just wrong (in fact, I did, but then realized this post was heading towards being ridiculously long and deleted half of it).  Instead of going into a long discourse, however, I'll just say that there are some means that are justified by some ends, but it is illogical to assume there are ends that are so good that any means used to achieve them are justified.

This is the temptation that is the most difficult to see and resist.  It is far easier to resist temptation when we know that the end is bad for us.  Resisting the temptation to do something questionable in order to do good?  That's where we get tricked.

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