Flee From Temptation

Today’s devotional is from an article written by my son, Clark Wrather, for his church newsletter. Clark is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. The title and Scripture were added for the devotional.

But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me.’ But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. – Genesis 39:12-13. (Read all of Genesis 39 for the complete context.)

A couple of weeks ago, on the way back from Dallas, something weird happened to me. It had been a long day and I guess I was not thinking too clearly. Well, let me first tell you my story before I try to explain it…

We pulled into a gas station in Paris, TX. Libby went in to get something and when she came back, she made sure that I was aware of something. Brand, new, bright-yellow, parking lines had been painted around the store. They were glimmering in the fluorescent lighting of the parking lot. The bright-yellow paint glistened and anyone could see that these lines were very, very wet.

I just nodded at Libby, a bit annoyed she had made such a big deal about telling me all about those wet lines of paint. What did she think I was, her third little boy? I finished filling up the car and confidently walked around and carefully avoided the wet paint. In fact, the painter was still there waving people away and telling them to be careful.

I paid for the gas and headed back out. The painter had his back to me and I heard him telling another fellow that the paint was wet. There was a step down from the sidewalk to the parking lot itself. I looked down and right below me was that glistening, bright-yellow line. I just thought I would step down and right over that line with no trouble. This is actually what I intended to do, but there was a problem…

The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and had one leg folded up under me. I honestly could not figure out how it happened. The new pair of pants I was wearing suffered a grievous, fatal would. Those light colored khaki pants did not look right with a streak of bright-yellow running down from one knee to the cuff. Of course, Libby laughed and laughed…

Sometimes in life, we walk right into situations knowing we will face certain temptation to sin. Usually we think that we can confidently step right over these temptations. Often, we end up falling right into the temptation we had thought to be so easy to avoid.

My new rule for life is to simply avoid any place where they are painting new parking lines. If I see wet, glistening paint, I will drive away as fast as I possibly can. I am positive that the same strategy would work with those situations, which hold certain temptation. If you know you will be tempted, go out of your way to avoid that situation in the first place.

(When tempted the best course of action is to immediately find the way of escape and to take it.)

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