A Walk Down the Street

Read:  Matthew 26:36-46     

      In Matthew 26 Jesus is with his disciples in the Garden Of Gethsemane when he reminds them about the dangers of temptation.  In verse 41 he says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  This verse reminded me of something written by Portia Nelson entitled “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.”  It goes like this…..

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.  There is deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in.  I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.  It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.  I can’t believe I am in the same place, but it isn’t my fault.
It still take a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it is there.  I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.  I know where I am.  It is my fault.  I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

There is so much truth to this short statement about temptations and our need to acknowledge them, confess them, and be intentional about trying to avoid them.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Call on God, but row away from the rocks.”  In order for us to avoid giving into temptations we must keep from putting ourselves in dangerous situations that give the enemy the opportunities to draw us in.

If you struggle with being tempted by something don’t get anywhere near it.  As Jesus says, watch out for it, pray about it, and ask God to deliver your from it.  As the fifth chapter above says, “Walk down another street.”  A street that is filled with the things of God and not the things that pull us away from God.  May Christ grant us all forgiveness for the deep holes we tend to fall in, and give us strength to walk around them in the days ahead.

Make it personal:  What tempts you the most?  Sometimes we need to name those things in order to confess them and move away from them.  After you name those temptations be sure to take them to the Lord.  Ask for forgiveness and help in walking away from them in the future.

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church