Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When I Am Tempted

Temptation. In our sinful, fallen state, I believe mankind's very DNA leaves a person predisposed to succumb to one temptation or another. Without the staying hand of the Holy Spirit, we would fall headlong each time.

Everybody is tempted by something that will lead her away from Christ. Some temptations just seem less harmful than others like consuming immoral television shows versus hearkening to the siren call of an adulterous relationship.

I've been struggling with my own brand of temptation this weekend (hence, the lack of blog entries). I've spent several days in my own desert.

It may sound ridiculous to you, but I constantly suffer from the temptation to take on more paying jobs, to labor more and provide for my family.

I already have a full time online teaching schedule. But over the past few months, I've been offered more part-time additional work than the staggering unemployment rate shows is possible. And on Saturday came the offer for another contract writing job.

More money that I could earn.

I could taste it much like I imagine Eve could taste the forbidden fruit as she held it in her hand.

This temptation is built on a life-long fear of not having enough. As a child, I was never without. But when my mother audibly expressed her concerns about money, I absorbed those same concerns into the very marrow of my bones.

I have a vivid childhood memory of one of my brother's birthdays when my parents bought him crayons and drawing paper. I can visualize my mother buying and wrapping it up for him. I can see him opening that gift. And although my mother probably doesn't even remember commenting that "not having enough money" was the reason for the simplicity of the present, I can hear those words reverberate in my head.

Several decades later, I still remember.

I've prayed numerous times about this fear. Since Doug lost his career and I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom, I have spent an intense amount of time before my Father's throne, learning to trust Him to provide for us instead of trust in my own ability. And as He has continued to provide over the last three years, my trust in Him has grown.

But at times, that old fear still crawls up behind me and grabs me by the ankles, pulling me down into a pit of worry where I usually end up taking the job because of that "what if" fear.

And my relationships and health suffer.

But this weekend, I prayed. And it became obvious the job wasn't God's will. It was a temptation, just like the other 5 classes I was offered to teach this fall but turned down because I was already scheduled to teach 6.

Had I taken any of the extra offers, I would have little to no time for my relationship with God or my family.

As my Bible study taught me this past week, not every good opportunity is a God opportunity.

It still amazes me how God's lessons are always right on time to speak to my present circumstances.

1 comment:

  1. Funny how we like to look at temptation more like the picture you have posted, don't we? Always something that looks pretty dark. But we can be tempted by the good stuff too, if it pulls away from where and who we need to be.

    How courageous of you to face down the temptation to give in to fear and take on more than God is giving right now. As I await some of those opportunities and we pray for His direction for the future, saying no seems a very hard thing indeed....