Sunday’s Food for Thought : When Temptations Come …
“Oh, I yelled at him because HE STARTED IT!”
“I wouldn’t have pushed him if he hadn’t been irritating me!”
“HE made me angry! It was HIM who made me hit him!”
I don’t know about you but every now and then I hear similar statements being said amongst our kids at home.
And it does remind me that more often than not, we too have that tendency to place the blame on someone else for something that we ourselves do.
We justify our own actions by saying how the other party was the one who has provoked us.
A few Sundays ago I was reminded yet again that when we choose to do something, it’s because we ourselves have decided to do it.
When a child hits another with her hand, it’s because she herself decides to do so.
When we are angry about something and lose our patience, it’s because we ourselves choose to NOT keep our emotions under control.
If we sin, it’s because we ourselves choose to commit sin. It’s because of our own evil desire.
Here’s one analogy that I really like :
A bird may fly above us. We can’t stop it from flying above our heads. BUT, IF that bird builds a nest ON our head, it’s because we ourselves ALLOW it to happen!
In the same way, temptations are always there. But we must NOT invite temptations to come to our lives. Just as we can REJECT the bird who’s about to build a nest on our head, we too CAN reject temptations as they come to us.
I recently shared the above analogy with my two older children when they’ve started to bicker and complain about each other.
I reminded them how we can’t stop others from doing things that we may find annoying. We hit because we choose to hit. We yell at another because we ourselves want to do it.
A school friend could’ve tried to make us feel impatient and angry. A classmate probably made rude and insensitive remarks about another at school. BUT, WE are the ones who must learn to be in control of what we say, think and do.
If we choose to not follow the wrong things that others have done, we CAN.
If we choose to NOT be angry over simple matters (though they’re indeed annoying), we CAN.
When temptations come our way, it’s all up to us how we’d react and respond to them.
“Control yourselves. Be on your guard. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow. Stand up to him. Stand firm in what you believe. All over the world you know that your brothers and sisters are going through the same kind of suffering.”
As I shared the above with Anya and Vai, I reminded myself to walk the talk too. I personally find it so relevant to my daily life, and really, I am just grateful for such strong reminders I often receive on Sundays.
I know I still need to learn a lot about life.
And I know, I personally need to depend on God’s help and strength to go through the many different temptations that may come my way, everyday.
May God help me, help us. Always.
[This post is inspired by the sermon shared by Rev. DR. Stephen Tong]