My inability to resist temptation began quite young—with a can of paint. I’d watched my mom use shiny black paint to decorate a homemade toy stove. Watching her dip the brush into that licorice-colored paint and carefully apply realistic embellishments was fascinating. My small hands were only capable of scribbling, but that paintbrush seemed so effortless.
She carefully cleaned the brush and placed the can on the garage shelf. She warned me to not touch the wet paint, and to stay away from the paint can. We went back into the house, but it wasn’t long before I returned to the garage and was holding the cleaned brush. I swished it against the garage floor. Spying the can on the shelf, I wondered what it might be like to paint.
I pried the lid off and went outside to the porch. Soon I was painting as high as my five-year-old arms could reach. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on the last porch post, Mom caught me. I’d been warned not to, and I did it anyway. I quickly learned that giving into temptation doesn’t end well.
Childhood temptations are mild compared to teenage ones. Temptation is like taking the brakes off and then starting down a huge hill. Give into the temptation and things just go faster. Eventually you crash. Temptation begins with a tug. Soon it’s a tug-of-war. Temptation usually strikes at our weakest point and we each have our areas of vulnerability.
Temptations change as we get older, but they never go away. The usual culprits are easy enough to access—alcohol or drug abuse, illicit sex, or porn. Even good things like games, computers, and exercise can become excessive and harmful.
Watching people get snared in temptation’s traps is incredibly sad. But it needn’t end that way, because there’s always an escape hatch. God knew what we’d be facing, so He gives us a way out. Yes, we live in a world with temptation traps, but we have a get-out-of-jail-free card anytime we want.
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Corinthians 10:13