All of us have heard of someone or known someone who is a respected member of the community, great employer/employee, loyal friend, devoted to family, active in the church. This same someone can be one who breaks the law, one who cheats and steals from the community, employer/employees, friends, family, and church. When this happens and the offender is seen as a fine example of Christ and a demonstration of what a Christian is meant be like we are surprised and disappointed and often it is said, “He was supposedly a good strong Christian…”.
What does that mean, “supposedly” a good strong Christian? Does it imply that good strong Christians never doubt or are weak and make mistakes? That they are better than the rest of us and have once and for all defeated the pull of human desires? Are they immune to temptations and sin?
Jesus told his disciples,
“Temptations to sin are sure to come…”
Luke 17:1 esv
He did not say, maybe temptations will come to some of you–just that they would come.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
James 1:14 esv
Not just a select group is tempted but everyone, each person, including the good and strong. All of us have our own desires, those that are separate from God’s desires for us, that seem good, worthwhile, and harmless. But since they are not the desires of God they take our focus from Him and put the focus on self. Then begins the deception of pride that can convince us that what we deserve is everything and anything we want and that there is no reason we should not have it all.
We must remember all are tempted and at one time or another we all succumb to temptation. Most of us are saved from ourselves, by the grace of God, and do not tumble head-long into sin. But when a brother or sister, who is perhaps weaker than we are in some area, does take that tumble we are not to judge them harshly without love.
Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual (who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit) should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness…
Galatians 6:1a amplified bible
It is so easy to think we would never give in to temptations that lead to disgrace and shame and the hurting of those we serve and love.
…keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.
Galatians 6:1b amplified bible
The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves and has given us instructions.
I, more often than I like to admit, fall into the trap of being “holier than thou”. Me…sinner extraordinar!
Is it not a wonder that the Spirit always shows us where we sin and gives us the help we need to learn and start anew?