September 07, 2009

Don't Blame God When You Blow It

James 1:13-15

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
James 1:13


Years ago, while living in southern California, I called on a member of our church who had left her husband and had moved in with her boyfriend. As we were talking, she told me that she was doing the right thing because if God had not wanted her to leave her husband, he would not have let her meet the other man. She was saying that God himself had made this happen. So if someone was to blame, it had to be God.

But we can’t blame God when we mess up. We’ve been trying to use that excuse since Adam and Eve fell into sin (see Genesis 3:12). When we fall into sin, it’s our own fault. But it’s always easier to try to blame someone else, our circumstances, or even God.

James warns against passing the buck or blaming God when we are tempted and we give in to sin. James says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”

Temptations come from within, from our own desires, which Satan uses to try to pull us away from God. Watch out, says James. Giving in to temptations will cause us to sin, and sin leads to death.

If you have given in to sin, don’t blame God. Confess your sin, ask God’s forgiveness, and pray for strength to resist temptations when they come.

Father in heaven, help us to avoid the lure of temptations. Protect us from the pull of our own evil desires, and “deliver us from the evil one,” we pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!