Tempted by a Shortcut
“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:13–15 ESV)
As we continue to look at our desires and the ways in which we are tempted to sin, we must be willing to recognize that our perception is not synonymous with reality. What we see and feel can be misleading; the promises of God cannot. For this reason, in every situation in which we are tempted, we must recognize the lie and remember the promise.
The Desire: People want a shortcut.
When I say “people want a shortcut,” I mean we do not want to wait; we want to speed up the time table. We crave instant gratification. We want all of the benefits without any of the work.
Have you ever wondered why people steal? Admittedly, there could be a number of reasons, but I think this is at the core for most: they just do not want to wait. They want a shortcut, so they take things instead of working for them. They embrace the approach that gives them what they want—right here, right now.
Setting stealing aside for a second, would it surprise you if I said the same principle holds true for people addicted to pornography? Why would someone even start such a habit? Well, given the technology of today, it is nearly instantaneous. People do not have to go anywhere. They do not have to do anything that they do not want to do. They do not have to pursue anyone. They do not have to deal with the difficulty of commitment in a relationship. They get instant gratification with no strings attached and no patience needed.
Recognize the lie. The lie is that you can have everything right here, right now, without any consequences. But remember the promise. God promises that later will be better. The quick and easy thing never fully satisfies you, and truthfully it always has consequences. Pornography is a perfect example. It changes the way you see yourself. It changes the way you think about other people. It changes the way you see sex. It affects the intimacy of your actual relationship, if you are able to have one. It destroys marriages. I could go on, but the point is that God promises if you will wait, if you will fulfill that desire in the right time, then you get to have all of the benefits with none of those things tainting the blessings down the road.