Be Not Deceived

2 Dec

“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” ~ Mark Twain

Today’s Jesse Tree symbol can be one of three things: a tree with fruit on it, an apple, or a serpent. This is the day that we remember “the fall”. We were created by a loving God and created in His own immortal image and likeness. Yet, we were given the gift of free will. That free will would prove, it seemed, to be our downfall.

Temptation is something that is a daily part of our lives. It seems that we cannot get away from it. It chases us. It haunts us. It terrifies us. At times, we succumb to it, claiming that the temptation was too great and blaming the tempter for our sin. However, no one can make us sin. That is always a choice freely made by us.

That choice is often made, as Mark Twain indicated, because “there is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” When Adam and Eve were warned not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the tempter began to work on them. “What would be so wrong?” he asked. “Why is God keeping that from you?” “Certainly nothing bad can come about by doing it just this one time.”

All those phrases go through our heads practically each and every time that we sin. What would be so wrong? What bad can come from it? Do not other people do this and get away with it? Those temptations, placed in our minds, can only be rejected by a soul that fortifies itself on prayer and good works. The moment that we allow our prayer lives to slip, the occasions to sin increase.

No one forces us to sin. We do it on our own. Yet, with the help of God, we can deny the temptation and improve our relationship with God. There is a certain charm about the forbidden. How many children have been burned because their parents warned them that something was hot and told them not to touch? Curiosity often gets the better of us and we reach out only to learn that our parents were correct.

Once burned, twice shy.

Yet, as charming as the forbidden might be, there is a stellar charm to the glory of God. If we keep focused upon God and all that He does for us, we would find it much easier to stay away from temptation.

FAITH ACTION: Make a thorough examination of conscience and plan when you might go to confession during Advent to seek forgiveness from God for the times you have succumbed to temptation.