Those Who Would Tempt Me
Finally, brothers, pray for us . . . that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3
Every day, I pray that God would protect me from my own self-destructive nature. I’m the one who has caused me the most misery in my life and so, I daily ask that God would save me from myself. I’m not the only problem out there though. There are those who, whether purposefully or accidentally, would tempt me to do evil.
In clinic, I’m occasionally presented with a bottle of pain pills. I don’t like how these make me feel. Could you get rid of them for me? When that happens, there’s always a part of my brain that slips back into the old thinking. Why yes, I’d be happy to help you out with this problem. That individual isn’t trying to tempt me, and he knows nothing about my past, but still, the temptation is very real to me. Sometimes it’s an acquaintance who means well. Hey, we’re going to get drinks. Want to come? Again, this friend isn’t consciously trying to make me relapse. He just doesn’t know. What he’s offering isn’t destructive in his mind, but to me, it’s disaster.
Then, there are those who simply do wish evil and relapse upon me. Maybe my recovery makes them uncomfortable. Maybe their misery just wants company. Whatever it is, they’re going in a different direction than me and they want me to come along.
In today’s passage, Paul taught that there is evil in the world. There are faithless people out there and there is a devil who’s willing to use anything and anyone to trap us. In our faith, we’re meant to be traveling in one direction and the world is going in another. Continuously, it’s trying to turn us around to take us down with it.
The problem of course is that we can only control our own behavior. We cannot change the fact that external evil and temptation will approach us, trying to drag us down. We can prepare for it though, and we can pray. This is what Paul asked for in today’s passage – prayer.
As I daily pray for protection from myself, I also ask God to protect me from those temptations that come from outside of me. I can’t control everything in the world, but I believe in the God who can. So, I pray to him, asking him to protect me and my family from the very real evil in this world. God, save us from ourselves and from the evil around us. I pray for your will in our lives today.