I’ve been asked before: Is it a sin to be tempted? Emphatically, I say NO! If I’m in a particular mood to be snarky, I’ll ask if they believed Jesus sinned. Of course the answer is emphatically, NO! Then I’ll share that Jesus was tempted, but did not sin. Therefore, it is not a sin to be tempted.
Temptation comes in many shapes and many sizes – it affects each of us differently, at varying times and at varying degrees. For some, it’s big things that we are tempted by – for others, it’s the small things that get under our skin. No matter what, it hits us all at some point.
To help our people recognize this, I discovered a way to illustrate the mind. See, our minds are like hotels. Think about it – a manager of a hotel can not prevent people from entering into the lobby, but he can prevent someone from checking into a room. See the connection? It’s not a sin when a temptation passes through our minds (like entering a lobby), but it is a sin to give into temptation (like checking into a room in the hotel). Sin comes when we give a room to temptation in our minds.
Here’s where the true challenge comes – we are the hotel manager of our own minds. We have the ability to reject whatever comes into the lobby from taking residency. We are the ones who have been gifted to reject temptation or give into temptation. I’m reminded of what James says to us;
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1:13-14).
We’re the ones who draw ourselves away in temptation. Your mind is a hotel, what do you need to kick out of that room?