Let me start off by saying that nobody likes to be convicted. However, conviction is necessary to grow up in maturity. Pastor Whitney’s sermon on Sunday was definitely one of those “hard to hear” types of sermons. The major focus was on temptation! That’s right, temptation. The stuff we often deal with alone in the dark, where we like it to stay. Temptation is easy to pass off as someone else’s fault. In my life I can be like Frollo from Walt Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, singing Hellfire and blaming my temptations on others. Specifically, when I was a kid, whenever I got in trouble I would blame God for tempting me and then getting me in trouble. I can look back and realize how childish I was for thinking that way, but then I realize that I sometimes still think like that! While I don’t blame God if I get bad grades or make my parents upset, I do blame God for more significant issues I haven’t dealt with yet.
Pastor Whitney’s message talked about how pointless it is to blame God for our sins and temptations. She gave a relatable example of how the temptation of lying is easy to fall into. The words she gave that stuck out to me were, “If I did that, I would have to answer to God for it.” I instantly began thinking that lying to get out of a ticket couldn’t be that bad, but then I caught myself. Have I become so nonchalant about sins that I start comparing them? I was reminded that the biggest issue to do with lying is that it degrades character.
Pastor Whitney’s story ended by showing that honesty is much better than being deceitful. However, I cannot say all temptation stories are like that. I felt convicted about my actions and my lack of care for being righteous. The great thing about temptation is that God gives us the strength to resist it if we rely on Him. He gives us constant grace and love – knowing that we will fall into temptation. As we grow, we recognize good and evil, giving us more room to walk away from temptation and less room to hide from our sins.