Thursday, March 18, 2021

Tempted to Touch - Martin Wiles

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. Psalm 1:1 NLT

As I entered the general merchandise section of the retail store, I found a strange thing: produce.

Finding bananas as soon as I entered the general section of the giant retail store seemed strange at first, until I realized that those who manage this and other stores study people and how to sell to them. What better way to sell produce than to stick the kind many people buy—bananas—almost in front of my face. I could not enter this side of the store without passing them.

Even in a grocery store, managers learn the tricks of selling certain things. Items on sale are placed where I almost run over them when I enter the store. In addition to there and in the center of aisles, sellers also place them on endcaps where they almost jump out at me as I shop.

The techniques work. My wife is an undecided shopper. As we browse through stores, she picks up things that catch her eye and places them in her buggy. As we continue shopping, she might see something else she would rather have, so she puts the original item back. Or, she might decide we don’t have the money to buy what she picked up, so she returns it to the shelf.

The temptation to touch, and to do more than touch, looms large in us humans. The psalmist knew that. That’s why he could talk about the joy that comes when we don’t give in.

Everything God originally created He considered good. Most things that become sin for us are neutral—neither good nor bad. God has no problem with me eating veggies, meat, and probably a little junk food in the mix. Food keeps me alive, but too much of it can harm me and leads to gluttony, which is a sin since my body is a temple of God’s Spirit.

Satan tempted Jesus to turn rocks into bread after He had fasted for forty days in the wilderness. Eating bread would not have been a sin for Jesus. Getting it the way Satan proffered rather than trusting His heavenly Father to provide it would have been the sin.

Most things in moderation is a good rule to live by. The “thing” isn’t normally sinful; it’s what we do with it or whom we do it with. But some things—and people—we should just leave alone. We all know our weak points … and Satan does, too. God gives us the strength not to touch those things. He allows no temptation into our lives that we can’t overcome with His power.

Let God teach you which things you should not touch.

Prayer: Father, teach us what it’s okay to touch and what we need to leave alone.

Tweetable: What things are you tempted to touch? 

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