For many Christians the story of Jesus’ temptation is a source of comfort.
Even Jesus, the Son of God, was tempted in the wilderness. Therefore we do not have to despair when we find ourselves in the wilderness, exposed to temptations. Jesus has been there. He knows the place and will meet us there. “No place is so desolate, so distant, or so challenging that Jesus has not already been there; no test or temptation is so great that Jesus has not already overcome it” (Audrey West). Christ “himself suffered when he was tempted. Now he is able to help others who are being tempted” (Heb 2:18 – NIRV).
This consolation should change the way we view our own temptations as well as those of others.
* Knowing that Jesus fully understands our temptations should help us to be honest in acknowledging them – and our vulnerability.
* Knowing that the Son of God also suffered under temptations should make us more sympathetic towards those who struggle with temptations.
Through the ages the church has been teaching Christians to confess their sins and temptations.
The following confession is a good example:
“God in whom alone we find rest, we confess that we often turn from the gifts of identity, purpose, and meaning that you would give us.
Instead of serving others, we serve ourselves.
Instead of being motivated by love, we are motivated by fear.
Instead of seeking wisdom, we seek possessions.
Instead of working for peace, we work for security.
Instead of seeking our good in you, we look to so many other places, trading your abundant and enduring love for the shiny things of this world.
Draw us back to you, O God, and remind us that all that we have and need we find in relationship with you and with each other. This we pray in the name of Jesus, who came as one of us, tempted as we are, yet without forsaking trust in you.”
To think about or discuss: How can we be more honest about our own temptations and kinder towards those who also struggle?
The “confession” was copied from: http://www.workingpreacher.org/dear_wp.aspx?article_id=462