“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
James 1:13-15 ESV
People love blame shifting.
This past week I couldn’t stop chuckling over the recent gripe by Governor Gavin Newsom (D) that Californians are paying too much for gas. The liberal Democrats insisted on raising the gas taxes last year and have tacked on so many taxes and regulations through the last few decades that the price per gallon is nearly double the national average. They’ve caused the problem, but they don’t want to accept responsibility for it. The fact that he was seeking to launch an investigation made it even more laughable.
I use this example, not get political, but to point out a glaring flaw: we don’t enjoy accepting responsibility for our actions. People used to say things like, “the devil made me do it,” or “I can’t help it, I was born this way!” Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. The facts remain clear: our own desire lures us into sin.
Satan dangles the bait of temptation, but God always provides a way of escape. We either take the bait or leap for God’s lifeline. Sin is the result of taking the bait.
When we make the wrong choice, we have two options: seek forgiveness or continue in sin (while making excuses!).
God doesn’t accept our excuses, he accepts our repentance.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 ESV
Next time we mess up, we ought to respond, as David did: “I have sinned” and then, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51.10)