When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
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.
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