Wednesday 05 February 2020

Bible Book:

No one, when tempted, should say, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one. (v. 13)

James 1:12-18 Wednesday 5 February 2020

Psalm: Psalm 130


For many people who live on the hinterland of organised religion, God is a convenient person to blame. In cases of extreme tragedy one of the questions people ask is: “Why would God do that?”

Daily niggles or chronic pain become 'a cross I have to carry' when Jesus intended bearing the cross to be a commitment to follow where he leads (see Luke 9:23).

It seems God-blaming may not be a new thing. James, in our focus verse, feels the need to remind his readers that God cannot be tempted, either by evil or to do evil. Why? Because God is holy and above the kind of temptations that face us.

We are tempted, of course we are. As James says: “No one, when tempted” not if tempted. But this temptation is not from God. In fact, James warns against being deceived.

What is God like? Generous and giving (v. 17); unchanging (v. 17); the embodiment of truth (v. 18).

We are called to model our character on this godly example. To resist temptation through prayer and to become role models for others – showing the fruit of God’s holiness in our own lives.

Jesus, when he shows his disciples how to relate to God, gives us the template prayer for this. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

Pope Francis has difficulty with this phrasing and said in December 2017 that it should more helpfully be “Do not let us enter into temptation.” James would agree, I suggest, and see it as God enabling us to resist by exhibiting a godly holiness.


To Ponder:

  • Do you see the testing of our faith through various trials an act of God or one which God wants us to be lifted above?
  • How can we show holiness in resisting temptation? Is that the same as meekly accepting?
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