Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him. James 1:12 NABRE
James in this letter is writing to churches around the Mediterranean Sea to encourage them to amend their ways and persevere in trials. It is a circular letter, meaning it was carried and read from one community to the next. In the section beginning with the quoted verse James is encouraging the man who perseveres in temptations. A temptation is an enticement to sin, or to turn away from God. Earlier James spoke about trials, like sickness, trouble of some sort, poverty, abandonment, even death. Going through trials helps make us stronger and more aware of our dependence on God. Temptations may come along in a moment of weakness to challenge our faith. James speaks of the person who overcomes temptation receiving a crown of life. Crowns were awarded to victors, like a crown of leaves awarded in the Olympic races to the winner. In the quoted verse the crown represents eternal life which is promised to those who love Jesus. James has a progression from trials, to temptations to perfect person. Going through trials and temptations makes us close to God and in the end brings us to the promise of life forever.
Temptation is not from God. Temptations are things in life that deceive us as something good or desirable, they are distractions, they pull us away from focusing on God. Take your eyes off God and be easily fooled and down some road we can’t get off. View a few pornographic pictures and in time become addicted. Lust slightly after a coworker and in time enter into a full blown affair. Avoid small temptations today to keep from being stuck in temptations you can’t escape later.
What are your small temptations? How do you avoid acting on them?Temptation is not from God. Temptations are things in life that deceive us as something good or desirable, they are distractions, they pull us away from focusing on God. Click To Tweet
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