Tag Archives: temptation

Whatever things are admirable

27 Mar

I have been hearing, reading and listening and writing on how many people within the church and the ministry fall into the worst kind of temptation. And I have to say that I have seen stories so full of grace. And judgement tempered with grace. I just wanted to point one out to you.

And another, so full of honesty and the willingness to be vulnerable and repeat the pain over and over and over again in confession and explanation because they wanted to make it work. They loved each other and they chose to.

I think vulnerability is such a challenge. And I pray that I get given it in spades – I run from it. But there is no way that I can honour God with the people around me if I am not entirely vulnerable to them, and willing to be hurt.

I am so in awe of the pouring of grace that God gives in the messiest stories.

And then I’m in awe of the wonderfully healthy marriages I know – one where wife or husband always runs to the door when the other arrives (so beautiful and it gives me a heart-longing), another where every argument however often is made up, another where you would never find one without finding the other (no, not unhealthily tied together but openness and sharing of lives like best friends. I only need to text one.)

And I am in awe again.

From Selwyn Hughes

30 Dec

Here’s the Hughes on how to do this. Simplistic it may seem, unworthy or beneath our attention it may seem but it isn’t. We like to forget our unrighteousness. We forget that pursuing something means leaving off the other chases, the enticing smells of the hunt.

Well, you may not. I forget. Too often. So this is for other weaklings like me… And it works!

…the most effective place to deal with sin is at the ‘eye’ stage. …. “The best place to kill a cobra”, runs an old Indian proverb, “is in its egg.”

Most sin follows on from a failure to kill it at the place of desire – the ‘eye’.  When an evil thought comes, try blinking your eyes very rapidly and you will discover that the thought is broken up.  It is a voluntary act demanding the attention of the will, and thus draws attention away from the evil thought.  Add to the action the simple prayer that Peter prayed when he was about to sink into the waters of the Sea of Galilee: “Lord, save me.”

Another thing you can do when a sinful thought or desire invades your mind is to change whatever you are doing in order to focus your attention elsewhere.  An old Welsh miner I knew told me, many years ago, that when he was a young man, he was out walking one day and was attacked by an evil thought.  He deliberately picked up a heavy stone and carried it back home.  The attention necessary to carry the load made him forget the thought.  These ideas may not work for everyone, but they have certainly worked for some.  Another way to deal with an evil thought or desire when it comes is to focus our attention on a mental picture of Christ on the Cross.  It is hard to think of evil and Him at the same time.  They are incompatibilities.

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