Learn How to Make Healthy Choices Part I

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I only wish that all of my temptations were as simple as choosing between a salad and a hamburger. If I could chose the burger every time and work it off the next morning that would be great. Unfortunately, even simple temptations come with consequences. Too many hamburgers and not enough salad may lead to high blood pressure. Of course there’s always medication… and it’s side effects. The warning label may read dry mouth, a chance of bleeding eyeballs, and the occasional threat of a heart attack. Sounds complicated? Temptations are complicated.

In Matthew 4, the Lord leads Jesus to an isolated place after He is baptized. Jesus refrains from eating for forty days. In His hunger and weakness, a tempter comes to Him. He tempts Him by offering Jesus exactly what He might need or want in His time of weakness. While the need could be real, he offers to satisfy it in the wrong way. Temptations are often tests that can reveal or develop our character. They cause us to make a choice between two ways of satisfying what are often underlying legitimate needs, like love, respect, and happiness.

The first temptation is could be seen as a way to get Jesus to behave in a way that was inconsistent with His purpose. Jesus responds by reiterating that He would only do those things which God commands Him to do, the instructions that “proceed out of the mouth of God.” (v. 4) Obeying God is more important than any need we think we have. Obedience will lead us into the provisions God has for us. We can seek to gain provisions outside of God’s will but find that they lead us to places of unhappiness and loneliness, the very emotions we were trying to avoid. But if we abandon our own smarts to do it God’s way, we will find the strangest and most wonderful ways of obtaining exactly what we were in search of.

Each of us has a purpose for our lives. God created women to be co-regents of the world. We rule God’s creation with our counterparts—the guys. The tempter tries to keep us from accomplishing our purpose. When we give in to our temptations we affect the plan for our lives. Can you imagine if Jesus fell to temptation and failed to fulfill His purpose? While Jesus’ purpose was to give us the opportunity to receive eternal life, the purpose God has for each of us is also a part of His plan. Realizing God’s purpose for your life will help you make healthy choices.

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