“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
We think of things like “sin” and “temptation” as WAY OUT THERE – somewhere – and they can’t possibly touch us in our common world of existence. Oh if people would just use “common sense” they would be able to resist. But years ago I learned the sad fact: “common sense” is not so common.
This scripture is referring to things that come into our “common” ordinary world. Things that are normal – not strange or out of the ordinary. If I think about that concept – it is reasonable to believe that temptation often comes at us where we are least expecting it – because it’s not a HUGE red flag warning. It is something already in our world. Something comfortable and familiar.
The scripture does not dispute that we are going to have things thrown at us – it simply says “when you are tempted” already knowing it’s just a matter of time if it hasn’t happened yet. Hold on! Cheer up! It will. The great news is this: you are not a freak of nature or something when you are tempted. Even Jesus himself was tempted! But He did NOT SIN. That’s the difference. Being tempted is NOT the sin. But I myself have been beat up by the mere “thought” of it! Oh and others have allowed me to feel that way too – you can count on that – nothing like a little help from your friends. I have seen friends of mine literally “reeling” from the fact that they were tempted to sin – or even had the thought of it! So much time lost. So much self inflicted pain over the “what if”?
But here’s the good news: Jesus promised us a way out of any “sticky situation” – there’s no temptation that He himself has not felt – and He will make a way out for you too. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to say “no” to it – but there’s always a way out. And it means that though He sometimes doesn’t take away that situation that’s tempting you – He will make you stronger so that you will be able to “stand up under it”.
I love this. How often have we felt defeated – even blamed the enemy for our lack of wisdom in a situation? – or blamed another person instead of saying, “it was me – It was all me” This is the healthy and correct way of dealing with it. Or worse – we have become consumed by temptation and failure that we hide away – enjoying our hurt and pain for a little too long – instead of facing it!
I believe as Christians we have a responsibility to face things head on – admit our weakness and failure – know our troubled spots and be alert to the temptations in our “ordinary” and yes, “common” world. I believe we all need each other to help us be strong. We need our trusted friends. We were never intended to “do life” alone. Our friends can provide a strength and support that doing things alone cannot.
Praying for you today as you “stand up under” the temptations in your world. He will always provide a “way out” for you – if you let Him.