The child of God who meditates upon the Scriptures will have a growing distaste for the way of temptation and growing desire for the highway of holiness. You will become that tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in its season (Ps. 1:3).
Jim turned out the lights, locked his office, and headed for the parking lot. He glanced at his watch—8:30pm. He would have usually grabbed a late dinner on the way home, but he couldn’t stop thinking about that subtle, alluring gesture from Kelly, his new personal assistant. Was it an invitation?, he thought to himself as he climbed into his car and started the engine.
Jim leaned back in the leather seat and closed his eyes. He wanted adventure—something more than his wife, children, church, and work seemed to offer. Kelly’s house wasn’t exactly on the way home, but he figured no harm in just driving by. He put the car in gear, exited the parking lot, and winded his way toward Kelly’s neighborhood. He turned down her street.
As he approached her house, he slowed the car and looked up toward the front windows. To his surprise, Kelly spotted him and waved through the kitchen window; he saw her heading toward the front door. No harm in just stopping to say hi, he reasoned.
His car glided to a stop and Jim got out.
The Way of Temptation
Proverbs 4:14–15 tells us, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.” As if to be more specific, Solomon explains,
For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword…. Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house. Prov. 5:3–4, 8
Too often, we put ourselves in the way of temptation, even when we know our flesh is weak. Too often, we “go near the door of her house”—
- that website that (we know) will lead to more explicit images
- that bar where we consume more than we know is right
- the card tables where we blow our money
- the store that sells pain-relieving drugs, even when the pain has long gone
- the literal door of a woman’s house who’s not your wife
It’s been said that when fantasy meets opportunity, the result gives birth to sin. We oftentimes hear the condemnation of the fantasy, the lust, and the greed. And rightly so—they not only lead to spiritual ruin, but they also displease our loving heavenly Father.
But what about the opportunity? What about the way of temptation? Proverbs tells us to “turn away from it and pass on.” We need to understand the actual danger and life-shattering effects of sin, and that the way of temptation is lined with the wreckage of good intentions. Countless men and women have found themselves trapped in a hopeless, dark existence because they believed the lie that way of temptation is safe. It’s not.