One question to ask yourself when you’re facing temptation

I honestly didn’t think he’d do it. My dog is feisty, and naughty, and stubborn. But he’s not dumb. Or at least I didn’t think so.

Until last week.

I was standing in the doorway of our front porch talking to a friend. She’d stopped by to deliver a special treat—homemade gelato, I love her!—and we gabbed for a few minutes while I held the door wide open. I thought somebody in the house had the dog safely under siege, but apparently not, because all of a sudden I felt him stick his nose between my ankles and then he was off—bolting out the door and into the front yard before I could stop him.

At first, he paused to sniff my friend. I called him to come and return to the house. But then. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw it.

And so did the dog. A man on a bicycle—moving—quickly—right past our house.

Now, I’m not a dog, so I cannot exactly tell you what fired through my pup’s head at that very moment. But I can tell you in a millisecond he flew into full five-alarm alert. My doggie shot to the curb, barking like a maniac.

“Mom, go get him!” My daughter shrieked. “Don’t let him run away!”

“He’s not going to run,” I said… just as, wouldn’t you know it, that little rat took off, chasing the bicyclist straight down the street—in the middle of the street—for half a block.

“Daddy!!!!” We yelled to my husband to save the day—which he did, of course. In the end, our pup returned home unharmed and the bicyclist was spared all the drama of a family of four plus one gelato-bearing friend running after him, yelling, “Stop! Stop! Our puppyyyyyy!”

Instinct. That’s what did it. I’d like to think we’ve trained our pooch well enough to know he shouldn’t leave the yard much less chase people to the corner five houses away. But when he saw that bike, something in him snapped and he decided—MUST FOLLOW. And so he did.

If only I weren’t just as dumb as my dog.

Because I see shiny objects, too. Distractions, temptations, desires that are just TOO enticing to ignore. So what do I do? I follow them, even though everything in me knows—this is not where my Master wants me.

Read this: What does true purity look like?

You, too?

A new house. Yes, Lord, I know we don’t have the money right now and you want me to be content with the house you’ve already provided but if you just let me check these listings on Zillow and maybe call the realtor for a showing or two… no harm done. Until my contentment starts to erode and I’m once again wishing for something I don’t have.

My iPhone. I promised I’d unplug after dinner every evening but these notifications just keep coming and hey, I’m a busy woman, people need me, so I’ll just answer this one… then another one… then another. Until I’ve wasted an hour of time I’d promised to spend playing board games with the kids.

Comparison. She has so many more followers than I do. God, why can’t you grow my ministry as big as hers? Did you see how huge her Instagram tribe is? How does she do it? Why can’t I do it? What’s wrong with me? I am such a loser.Yet if I’d get my eyes off of “her” and back onto God, I’d remember He would never call me a loser. Where do I get that idea?

From the shiny bicycle, of course—too tempting not to run after. You know what the Bible calls all that? Chasing after the wind.

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

Here’s the thing about chasing. It seems so much fun in the moment. So appealing. But there’s danger on that road. Outside the boundaries our loving Master has set for us, we could get hurt, lost, or worse.

I’m working on training my dog to stay in the yard. But honestly, I need to work on this for myself as well. Do you?

The question we need to ask ourselves is: Will this {shiny thing of choice} draw me closer to God, or further away?

Just like running after that bicyclist drew my puppy an unhealthy distance from his proper home, our “chasing after the wind” can pull us further and further away from God’s best. So tell me. What are you chasing in this season of life? Can you turn around and run back into the Master’s arms? He’s waiting—with loving arms, a gentle touch, and a big bag of expensive treats you don’t deserve.

That’s grace, amen? Praise the Lord.

Now read this: Why Christians still struggle with sin 


Becky Kopitzke is the author of “The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood” and “Generous Love: Discover the Joy of Living ‘Others First’. Becky lives in lovely northeast Wisconsin with her husband and their two daughters, where her home office is overrun with bouncy balls and tween craft supplies. For weekly, keeping-it-real encouragement, visit Becky at beckykopitzke.com.


 

 

 

 

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