A dear sister from my home church loves snow; while I am not a fan of snow at all. We have gone back and forth on the subject a couple of times in good fun. By her own testimony she was raised to appreciate snow, to go play in it and have fun. Good clean innocent fun. But as I was driving around in it the day after our latest blizzard here in the Chicago area I got to thinking about the correlation between snow and temptation. Of course when it comes to temptation none of us had to be taught how to mess around with it, it comes quite naturally to us in an effort to lure us into full blown sin. Hence Paul could write, 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
So how does snow compare to temptation? Well, as I was driving my delivery truck I found it very difficult to see the lines that have been painted on the road. In fact must of the time I couldn’t see them at all. The snow had covered these legal definitions for safe vehicle travel. Temptation works the same way. If you recall one of the recurring themes of the book of Judges was that every man did that which was right in his own eyes. They weren’t striving to do what was right in God’s eyes, nor do they seem to have been following the letter of the law that God himself had established. Temptation had blurred the lines and then completely covered them over. However just as snow can only cover the lines the lines are not erased by the snow, and temptation can’t erase God’s lines either.
Snow can lead people to slip and fall. Mounds of snow can be slippery and if you step on one wrong a person can quickly find themselves laying on the ground. And if the snow turns to ice chances for that slippage increase. The more temptation we allow to build up in our lives the greater chance of slipping and falling for it. And it never is the fall that hurts a person; it is the sudden stop that tends to do the damage. Twisted ankles, broken wrists, bruises, and concussions to name a few of the possible outcomes from hitting the ground. How about slipping with temptation? A hurt spouse, broken home, financial ruin, strained relationships, strained fellowship with God. While we can’t lose our salvation (John 10:28,29) we can play with sin to the point that it shortens our lives.
Snow can be a real killer. Not that the snow itself kills but the activity involved with it can be deadly. For instance (and I am not making lite of the fact) there has been as of this writing 3 deaths linked to the removal of that snow. Some sort of coronary issue for each of the men. Temptation may not have the ability to kill but messing with it when you shouldn’t is called sin and sin can kill. No one is immune from the effects of sin.
As kids we all pretty much liked to play in the snow and as adults some have taken that instinct and found ways to make money off of it. For the Christian, when we were lost we enjoyed our time with temptation but once saved we took on a new nature. In this new nature we are called to capitalize on the Holy Spirits guidance to avoid temptation; to follow his lead and profit from godliness instead of what the flesh wants. I saw a sign once that read “lead me not into temptation, for I shall find it myself”. Jesus has a much better idea “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). He is not saying that it was possible for God to lead us into temptation but that our hearts desire should be to get as much help as possible to avoid it.
Also, this blizzard we had here caused the schools in the area to declare a snow day. The kids loved that! A day of no school, stay home, and relax. What they tend to miss is that that snow day will be made up. It will be tacked on at the end of the school year when it is warmer. At that time instead of getting to play outside for a little while and then you must go back in because it had gotten too cold for you, you can play outside till practically whenever! But because of the snow day, the kids are in school another day, a day in the warm summer, and less free time. Temptation works the same way. We can revel in it to our hearts content, but there will be a price to pay. Our time in God’s school going over this lesson on this temptation will run that much longer because we failed the test. Instead of spending warm time in fellowship with God we waste time out in the coldness of this life. And time that should be spent enjoying God’s blessings has been reduced because of falling for that temptation. It sure looked worth it at the time, didn’t it.
Typically some one will get the hint about what a snow day costs and will wish for no more show days but when it comes around again the excitement takes over and they just can’t help themselves. We tend to do the same thing with our temptation. Here it comes again; no, I remember what it cost me last time! But the excitement begins to build, we take our eyes off of God, stop praying, put down the Bible, and begin to rationalize the temptation.
Seems hopeless doesn’t it? How do we overcome it then? Become bitter old men who hate snow? No. We are told to cast all our cares, burdens, and anxieties on Jesus (1 Peter 5:7) and to share the burdens with him (Matthew 11:28-30). James said to confess our faults (sins, temptations, problem areas) to someone so that they can pray with you about it (James 5:16). And the best part, when we do sin (Psalms 37:24) we can confess our sins to God and he will forgive us, 1 John 1:9.
So if you want, go play in the snow but stay away from temptation. When you see it coming send Jesus to answer the door.