Every time I watch an action movie, there’s always some point where the hero needs to escape. Not necessarily retreat. But escape a falling building or escape a burning car or escape from the bad guy’s hideout. It never fails. And I can’t help feeling that if we only needed to escape from physical danger, we would all probably be doing pretty well. But it’s rarely physical danger we need to escape from and more like danger from the way we think.
Physical danger can be pretty obvious. You know and realize that you’re in danger and look for a way to escape. But danger that comes from the way we think is harder to identify. Most of the time, we don’t even think it’s dangerous so we power on through without stopping to realize that it might not be a wise choice.
Best example: the way we eat.
I was looking for a photo to feature this morning, and I couldn’t help but put up a shot of a tasty treat that only comes around at fair time. Yes. Krispy Kreme Donut Burgers. I have no idea what they taste like. I’ve never tried one, and I’m not really interested in trying one. I’m sure they’re good. And you know? Eating one once a year is probably perfectly fine, but Americans don’t eat things like this once a year. We eat all the time. And we rarely think about the consequences. We’re the richest people in the world, and we eat like it.
And it’s not just food. It’s exercise. It’s faith. It’s friendships. It’s family. It’s giving. It’s everything. And the dysfunction all starts with the way we choose to think. I blogged earlier in the year about how we can choose to change the way we think, and the verse today is about how God can help us accomplish that. Today’s verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
Check out the last sentence: When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
I can speak from personal experience on this one because God has truly proven Himself faithful. I can’t tell you how many times God has opened a door and provided an escape route for me when I was torn with indecision, to sin or not to sin. In those circumstances, when my mental strength was wavering, I knew I was facing a choice but I didn’t think I could resist . . . and then the phone rang. Or someone would come to the door. Or I would get a text message. Or my power would go out. Or any number of random things would happen to take my mind off the subject, and when I returned to the thought, I could see it from a different angle and realize that I didn’t have to choose to sin.
It’s the same with any temptation. Being tempted doesn’t mean you’re sinning. Everyone is tempted. But as a Christian, you don’t have to choose to give in to temptation and God will always provide a way out for you. You just have to look for it.
Like John McLane or Jack Bauer or Martin Riggs looking for a way to escape the bad guy’s hideout, keep your eyes open every day. Because we’re tempted every day. And on those days when we feel weak mentally, we need to be aware that the temptation will be harder to beat. And if we’re not already looking for a way out when it hits us, we might get stuck.