August 16, 2019
Scripture: 1st Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. But God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it.
Thought for the Day: I have always been troubled by the pithy line, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” My response has always been, “God doesn’t, but the world can sure pile it on pretty thick.” I feel strongly about it, but also want to take seriously these words from 1st Corinthians. Temptation is the issue, and on a first reading it appears that God will limit the ability or power of temptation in our lives. This too seems strange to me, for if God can restrict temptation, then why not reduce it all the way around? Reading these words must be done within their original context, and Paul was writing to Gentile Christians who were worshiping gods that were petty, manipulative, seductive and would view human beings as pawns in their divine games. For Paul to speak of God differently would have been shocking, but also liberating. God is not the source of temptation, according to Paul, but the One who works with us amid the temptations. Paul is cracking open a new way of thinking about God that is not as small-minded and shallow as we often are. God is not in the tempting business, but in the saving business. God is not into manipulative game playing, but in the loving work of creating human beings who are able to become more than what the world might suggest.
Prayer: As Paul broke open a new understanding of the divine for his generation, we ask for help as we break open new ways of thinking about you, O Eternal God. As we grow in our relationship with the fullness of your love, may old and empty ways of perceiving you slip away. This is our hope. Amen.
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