Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:13-15, ESV)
Yesterday, Dan taught from James 1, which talks about temptation in terms of being lured. One big takeaway for me was that if you could just see the truth of the matter, the thing tempting us wouldn’t be so enticing. If we could only see that the thing that seems to offer a better life, in fact, offers death…
It reminded me of this bit from Paul Reiser’s Couplehood. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to extract the spiritual application to be found here:
To me, killing fish is not as cruel as the fact that we tease them first. We dangle worms and things they like, so they think they’re getting a snack, when in fact what they’re getting is death. It’s not honest.
We advertise worms, then go, "You know what? We’re all out of worms. How would you like a big hook in your mouth instead?" The ultimate Bait and Switch.
And fish, God bless them, are so dumb, they simply do not catch on. How many years have we been fishing? A zillion years? They haven’t figured it out? All it would take is one fish to see the worm and say, “Wait a second… Worms don’t just dangle like that… Something’s going on here… HEY!”
But they don’t. They line up. They see their friends getting yanked out of the water, and they don’t care. They’re cocky. “Don’t worry, Honey, that won’t happen to me. He didn’t know what he was doing, whereas — OWWWWW! … This one’s got a hook, too!”
They don’t see that whole pattern. Worm/death. Worm/death. I would catch on. If I went to a restaurant, and every time I ordered fruit cup, somebody dropped an anvil on my head, I would begin to notice. “Hmm… Fruit cup/death. Fruit cup/death. You know what? I’m gonna get the soup instead.”
Fish — they’re in schools, but they’re just not learning.
Couplehood, pp. 290-291