‘My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight’ Proverbs 5.1
If there is one thing that unites us all it is this – we all face temptation. You might think you are the only person facing a particular temptation, but the Bible clearly states some very good and releasing news – there is nothing new about the particular temptations you face; they are common to us all (1 Corinthians 10.13).
This theme of avoiding temptation also features in the book of Proverbs, and in today’s passage the writer gives us two insights about overcoming temptation. First, he begins his advice with the words, ‘My son’. We may not know why he chose these words, and exactly whom he was addressing, but if we take the Bible as a love letter from Father God to his children, then these words take on a new significance. God is trying to share his insights and wisdom with us, his much loved children. We are not dismissed from his loving heart just because temptation strikes us. When you feel the pull of temptation, this beautiful phrase is a glorious invitation to turn to ‘Abba, Father’, and enjoy the wonder of relationship.
The second truth is that God has insight. His Holy Spirit lives within us and if we choose to seek him and listen to the voice within, he will whisper to us a way out of our temptation. The wonder of this is even if we get it wrong and fall, Jesus has opened the way for us to return to the Father’s loving heart, by receiving the forgiveness his death has released for us.
What is your greatest temptation at this moment? Begin by rejoicing that the Father’s love for you is greater than your temptation. If you feel you have failed, then accept the forgiveness that is available for you. Then listen for the voice of the Spirit within you, guiding you to a different place.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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