I promise that if you see me, I will either be carrying my phone in my hand or it will be in my purse pocket. It is never far from me. If I am working in the kitchen, it is on the counter near me. The most important reason I keep it close is in case one of my children needs me. But, the other 23+ hours in a day when they are not needing me, I am on my phone for many unjustified reasons…mainly…social media. I get my news from my phone, updates on friends and family (and updates from people I have never even met in person) and spend more time than I care to admit observing other people’s lives. It is a temptation for me to get wrapped up in my phone and avoid the things that I need to be doing.
For various reasons, I deleted all social media off of my phone on July 1 and am taking a break from looking at Facebook or Instagram for the entire month. For the first few days it was just weird, every time I picked up my phone I had nothing to do but check my email and the weather. Well, that got old real quick. In fact, I find myself spending more time reading my Bible app, devotions that had been emailed to me, and journaling. But, now that the month is almost half over, the TEMPTATION is REAL! I just want to open my social media apps back up!
I am definitely not saying social media is bad, but when it is being used in the place of a productive activity, it is sin. And, in my life this was becoming way to often.
What is it that tempts you??
Today our passage, James 1:13-18 discusses the fact that we will be tempted.
Whenever you feel tempted to do something bad, you should not say, “God is tempting me.” Evil cannot tempt God, and God himself does not tempt anyone. You are tempted by the evil things you want. Your own desire leads you away and traps you. Your desire grows inside you until it results in sin. Then the sin grows bigger and bigger and finally ends in death. My dear brothers and sisters, don’t be fooled about this.
Temptation comes when our own desire leads us away and traps us. As long as we are in this physical body we are going to be tempted. There is no sin in being tempted, it is when we give in to the temptation that we fall into sin.
What are the top five self-reported temptations in America? According to a Barna survey:
1. 60% of Americans are often or sometimes living in a state of noticeable and debilitating temptation to be anxious or worry.
2. 60% of Americans are often or sometimes stuck in habits of procrastination.
3. 55% are often or sometimes overwhelmed by the temptation to eat too much.
4. 44% pf Americans admit that they face temptations to overuse electronics and social media.
5. 41% of Americans say they are often or sometimes tempted by laziness or not working as hard as reasonably expected in their occupations.
Is this a complete list of temptations we face? Absolutely not, anything that lures us from God’s best plan for us is a temptation.
For me, it is really easy to get hung-up on performance and focusing on not giving into temptation. But, I love that the last two verses of our passage today focus on Who god is and What He has given us. It gives us all the reason to want to please Him and follow Him.
Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky, but God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same. God decided to give us life through the true message he sent to us. He wanted us to be the most important of all that he created.