The Slippery Slope of Temptation 

We all know that sometimes doing the right thing is hard; sometimes it just sucks. I’ve been struggling with desires that aren’t exactly in line with what God wants for me (and by ‘not exactly in line’ I mean absolutely not in line with His will.)

I used to be really closed off. I know that’s hard to believe because I’ve been spilling my guts here for years, but it’s true. I like attention, and I don’t have to work hard to get it these days. That can be a good thing, but it isn’t always. 

I’d love to say that I don’t know what draws people to desire a friendship/relationship with me when I meet them, but I know exactly what it is. I have a pretty positive outlook. I have some cool characteristics to offer. I’m friendly, sincere, and I extend a lot of grace because it’s been extended to me. I listen more than I talk, which is a relatively new characteristic for me. (I’m still striving to improve that one.) In short, I’m kind of cool, blah,blah, blah…and I love people. 

A few months ago I met someone that I had seen nearly everyday for months prior. He’s tall and handsome, and I often felt the desire to pray for him even though I didn’t know him. Earlier this year a mutual friend introduced us, and a friendship was born. There hasn’t been a single day that we’ve crossed paths without him hugging me, having a seat, and exchanging stories about our day, our past, our favorite grocery store, etc. 

He’s adorable and easy to talk to, and lately I’ve found myself struggling to keep boundaries in place in my mind even though he’s married. We have absolutely not done anything inappropriate outside of my agreement with his acknowledgment that we need to be careful with each other. We’re always in public, and we’re typically surrounded by other people that I know who come in to chat. I’ve just noticed that I think about him even when he’s not there. (I’m thinking about him now, and he’s not here.) 

I’m acknowledging this here for a couple of reasons: 1. It’s the truth, and I face the truth now even when I don’t like it, and 2. Loving Jesus doesn’t mean that life suddenly becomes perfect. Yes, He paid the price for my sins, and He extended His grace because without it, I’d be damned to hell. I’m so thankful for that, but I still struggle with doing the right thing. Right now I’m struggling more than I’d like to admit, but I’m facing it anyway. 

Religion likes to make us believe that once we become believers that we’ll no longer have problems. Religion urges us to act as though we no longer face temptation. God didn’t promise that life would be filled with sunshine and rainbows. Actually, Paul said just the opposite. In some ways, at least in this moment for me, it’s harder to fight the desire to sin. I didn’t feel tempted nearly as often when Satan wasn’t bothered by me; now he preys on my weaknesses, so I have to be on guard constantly. 

I have no plans to act on any of the thoughts that have played in my mind over the last week or so, nor will I be throwing him on the floor to do ungoldly things at any point…ever. I just won’t. I value myself more than that, and I value my relationship with God a lot more than that. There are lines that I simply won’t cross, but it would be naive of me to think that I’m immune to falling on my face if I try to deal with this without inviting God into the situation. (God knows I’ve done it a million times in different circumstances.) 

The thing is…Jesus was very clear when He said that anyone who even looks at another person lustfully has already committed adultry in his heart. (Matthew 5:28) Ouch!

God takes repentance very seriously, yet I seem to be struggling with turning away from my sinful thoughts (which include a desire for more attention from him among other things.) Confessing these feelings won’t change anything unless I stop giving them space in my mind, yet I’m having trouble wanting to do that too. 

The man is often at a place that I frequent, and that won’t likely change in the immediate future. I like him. I want to be his friend. I want him to experience the love and grace that I’ve experienced since getting to know Jesus. I just need to get out of the way so that can happen. 

Proverbs 19:23 says that the fear of the Lord leads to life, and He who has it will abide in satisfaction. In Monte’s sermon yesterday, which was timely, he said that living satisfied is a choice. Jesus is all I need, and I know that if I focus on Him, he’ll work this out just as He has in every other situation. 

My goal is to focus on who He is, to worship Him, and to fill my mind with gratitude for that and all He’s doing. He’ll just have to take care of the rest, and He will because, you know, He’s God and everything. 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    PJ
    April 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    It’s almost funny you’re posting this just now. (More it’s that kind of funny you have to laugh at to keep from crying.) I’ve been going through much the same thing, but in my situation I’m the married side of the equation. Doing right just plain sucks sometimes, I thoroughly agree. It’s not easy. At all.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Yeah, it definitely sucks to do the right thing sometimes, but there’s only one happy ending in this case. I’m not sure how deep your feelings are, but in my case, I’m not invested at any significant level. Even if I were, I’d never want a relationship with someone who left someone else for me. There would be a constant worry that it would happen to me too, and why wouldn’t it?

      Those reasons are selfish, then there’s always the right thing too. It’s just not. We all have to be better than that.

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      • Reply
        PJ
        April 21, 2015 at 11:44 am

        In my case, it’s a close friend I’ve known for several years, so it’s complicated. But my friend and I are ignoring it and not allowing ourselves to get into any awkward situations. We know that our friendship and my marriage are more important than anything else might be. All that said, it’s still a rough patch. My heart goes out to you in your own situation.

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  • Reply
    Sandra J
    April 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Thank you for your honesty – I am sure this was hard for you to share. I would encourage you to read “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. Infidelity in marriage whether physical or emotional is devastating. I can’t find a strong enough word for this. This “Nuclear Bomb” went off in my marriage after 37 years. If you care about this man at all – step away now. You are on the road to at least an emotional affair. A death in the family is easier to deal with that this. Send me a personal email if you want to talk. This is also an excellent website: survivinginfidelity.com . You have recognized that you may have a potential problem. Please don’t ignore this and don’t let him. May God continue to bless you for trying to do the right thing. I wish others were as careful.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      April 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      I definitely know what’s right and what’s wrong here, and saying it out loud just further solidifies it yet. I know myself, and I’m far too emotional to get caught up in any kind of emotional thing. I just didn’t realize what was happening until a couple of days ago. I haven’t seen him, so maybe I won’t…at least today. I’m just trying to prepare myself for it like I would with other things- by focusing on the kind of relationship I want with Jesus, as opposed to anything else.

      I’m so sorry that your marriage took such an awful hit, especially after such a long time. It makes me wonder, at least sometimes, if it’s worth it. The idea of being with someone forever is appealing in some ways, but in others, it has the potential to be devastating. I’ve always liked the idea in theory, but I’ve never come close to doing it (even when I was asked.)

      There’s been so much healing from what I saw growing up, but I’m still not sure if I’ll ever take that kind of leap or not. Most marriages are considered “successful” if the people manage to stay together. I want more than that, or I’d rather enjoy my life solo.

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  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    April 20, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    🙂 Your knowledge of Scripture shows that what you learned growing up stuck and that what yo’re receiving at your new church is relevant…and real. It makes me smile. I know you’re having a struggle, and I feel bad about that, but you wouldn’t be having this struggle or wouldn’t be dealing with it as you are if God wasn’t doing a real time work in your life.

    So. To the problem. (Forgive me if you know this and just take it as a confirmation.)

    What you said you would do in regard to focusing on God, etc, is good. Essential, in fact. Additionally, you need to conform your thoughts to Jesus Christ. You do that in this way: Do not try to not think about your handsome friend. You’ll just think about him more. When thoughts of him cross your mind, don’t rebuke yourself, either, also a waste of time and it pleases the enemy.

    Instead, every time your friend crosses your mind, as immediately as you can–> begin to pray for his salvation. It goes something like this: [thought of friend] “Thank you, Lord, for bringing whosit to my mind. Lord, I’m asking you to make yourself known to him. Bring him a saving knowledge of you. Let him know you. Bring salvation to him and to his wife. Enrich and bless their marriage and cause them both to follow hot after you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

    Every time whosit crosses your mind. every time. Stop and pray for his salvation, his wife’s salvatino and their marriage. Immediately.

    And then praise the Lord for the privilege.

    Satan will quit bringing whosit to you right quick. 🙂 And one day, you’ll get to rejoice at Mr & Mrs Whosit’s salvation, knowing that you were used to bring it to pass.

    Hugs, Kenlie,

    Deb

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  • Reply
    stelly68
    April 21, 2015 at 1:19 am

    So my distant blogger friend. Your journey of discovering who you are in God hits a tough point. There is no need to chastise you or tell you what is happening – you are probably doing that even though you are moving through this. You are a woman first and God created all of you. The desires etc. being single is hard and sometimes the reality is tough.
    Praying and cheering you on from afar.
    Remember the beautiful woman who looks back in the mirror is worthy of God’s love and forgiveness – just believe it.
    Take care.

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  • Reply
    Kathie
    April 21, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Praying for you

    No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭13‬ NKJV)

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  • Reply
    Christina@LoveYourselfHealthy
    April 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Your honesty in (publicly!) acknowledging the issue, and immense faith, is a good place to start. It doesn’t sound like you’re looking for advice, so I’ll keep my mouth shut on that one 🙂 Sounds like you’re headed in the right direction on this one. Also, this x100: “Loving Jesus doesn’t mean that life suddenly becomes perfect.” I wish more people would understand that.

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  • Reply
    Nicole
    April 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

    I know it sounds contrived but it really is all about balance. You can have your cake and eat it too, you just have to make good choices as often as possible. It’s all about finding something that works for you. For me it was the slow carb diet – the one from the book the 4 hour body. You can have an all out cheat day once a week, as well as wine every night if you like. I wrote a quick review of it here: http://healthylivingbynicole.com/4HourBody

    Good luck everyone, remember you are not alone! 🙂

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  • Reply
    laurenwantstobehealthy
    April 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I have been on the bad side of this – broke up a marriage – mine and theirs. Trust me, doing the right thing is not only hard and almost downright impossible, it is the only option that will ever sit right in your heart.

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  • Reply
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