BEING TEMPTED TO DO WRONG ISN’T A SIN; GIVING IN TO TEMPTATION IS, HOWEVER.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Mark 1:9-13.
Verse of the Day: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV).
Mom entered Joy’s bedroom to kiss her daughter good-night. She sat on the edge of Joy’s bed and talked for a few moments about the day’s events.
As Mom rose to leave, Joy gripped her wrist and gently tugged, indicating she didn’t want her to leave yet.
“What is it, dear?” Mom asked.
Joy hesitated for a moment the way people do when they’re not sure what to say—or whether to say anything at all. Finally, she spoke.
“You know how I wanted to buy that new Green Daze CD, and you said I couldn’t?”
“Well, I snuck into your room and got into your purse tonight. I was going to take the money out of your purse and buy it anyway.” “You took money out of my purse!?”
“No,” Joy answered quickly. “I was going to,” she explained. “I got into your purse and found the money and everything . . . but I put the money back and closed your purse.” Joy’s eyes filled with tears. “I’m so sorry, Mom!” she cried.
Mom wrapped her arms around her daughter and hugged her for a few moments.
“I feel so awful!” Joy mumbled through her tears.
“Oh, Joy,” Mom said, “don’t be sorry. You made the right choice. You were tempted to do wrong, but you made the right choice. Everybody faces temptation.” “But I feel so bad,” Joy answered.
“I know, dear, but being tempted isn’t a sin; giving in to temptation is. You might have waited a little longer than you should have to make the right choice, but you did make the right choice when you were tempted.”
“So you’re not mad at me?”
Mom smiled. “No, dear. If I got mad at you every time you were tempted, I’d be mad all the time, wouldn’t I?”
“Yeah,” Joy said, smiling. “I guess so.” “Even Jesus was tempted,” Mom said, “but he did not sin.” “I’m glad I made the right choice, Mom,” Joy said. “I am too,” Mom answered.
TO DISCUSS: What is the difference between temptation and sin? Do you think you’ll ever stop being tempted to do wrong? Do you think you can resist temptation and choose to do right? If not, why not? If so, how?
TO PRAY: “Lord, as Jesus taught his disciples to pray, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”