Guest Post: A logical romance…
When Anna and I first got married she once said to me that she would never have an affair, and then waited for me to repeat the sentiment. I got in quite a lot of trouble when I wouldn’t. I did say that I didn’t want to have an affair, but to rule out the possibility that I in all my weakness would ever be tempted and give in to said temptation did not seem a wise thing to do.
This was for a number of reasons almost entirely to do with the fact that I am a man. I did not want to paint a massive target on my back for the devil to aim for, and I also did not want to give myself a false confidence in this area. If I recognise that men, in general, have a weakness of the flesh in this area, and that I as a man am not exempt from this weakness, then the logical response is to protect myself from said weakness. If I had proudly declared myself immune to this and stated that I would never have an affair, I would have felt safe putting myself in all manner of silly situations. I would have comforted other girls in their distress, I would have gone to meet with them out of the public eye with no fear and no awareness of the danger I would have put myself in.
I would argue that logically my approach was more romantic, but I just used the word ‘logic’ in regards to romance so what do I know?
When battling our weakness, general or specific, it is better to be aware and not put yourself in situations of temptation than to think you are somehow better than everyone else including Jesus (Hebrews 4:15). Pride in your own ability to resist is as illogical as logical romance.
Yet there will still be times when our resistance is tested, when despite fleeing temptation at every opportunity we will be faced with a choice, to give in or not. The Bible tells us that we always have a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) but it’s one of those verses that’s really difficult to believe when you are being tempted to the point of breaking.
We have relegated the role of the Holy Spirit to an entertainer, when in reality all through our temptations The Spirit is there gently nudging us towards righteousness, too often we save the devil a job and talk the Spirit down with human logic, and excuses. We all know the feeling – we see something wrong and inside us our hearts beat in an uptempo melody the words ‘Do something about it’. Our brains reply in a more sombre tune, ‘Me? Now? But I’m in a rush! I can’t possibly…’ Or we just write it off as heart burn…
The other day I was in a service station and outside of the newsagents was a stand with papers and magazines on it. Right at my eye level was ‘Nuts’, a mens magazine with an exposed breast on the front cover, nipple barely covered by a caption box. The title of the magazine is appropriate because that’s exactly what I went. I was so angry that in this main foyer area people were being exposed to this unhelpful temptation. I’m no saint and I was frankly surprised at the strength of my reaction. I think I’ve just had enough. As I stared at this magazine in righteous anger (honestly!) the beat of my Spirit laden heart piped up – ‘What are you going to do about it?’ I started the familiar routine of quenching that pesky voice – mainly because I was waiting for Anna and I had visions of her strolling up just as I picked the magazine up! I have had enough of ignoring that voice, so I walked over and turned that magazine round.
It’s not a huge victory, but we are never going to win any battles until we know how to win the skirmishes.
2 Timothy 2:22 (New International Version, ©2010)
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
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Nick writes at Ebs and Flows, a Christian blog that is one of my personal favorites to frequent. It’s always a source of encouragement and a place of challenge for me. Check it out if you haven’t already!