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Is Your Sin God’s Fault? - Forward with Back to the Bible - February 5

  • 2022 Feb 05

Is Your Sin God’s Fault?

February 5

Read James 1:13 (ESV)

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.

Reflect

Instead of blaming God for our temptations and poor decisions, what should we do?

“He started it!” “She told me to do it!” “It was his fault!” If you have ever been around young kids playing together, then chances are you have heard those words and you know exactly what is going on—the blame game. Not many kids like to take responsibility for their actions. Some friends of mine once told me that their kids blame their little cousins for their bad decisions even if their cousins aren’t there!

In today’s verses, James addresses the blame game. Only this time, he isn’t talking about blaming each other. He’s talking about blaming God! His advice? Don’t do it! No one should ever accuse God of tempting them to sin.

We shouldn’t blame God for tempting us because God doesn’t tempt us. Now, you might be thinking, what about all the times in the Bible when God tested His people? Aren’t those examples of God tempting them? For example, someone once asked me why God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden in the first place. Wasn’t God just setting them up to sin? Wasn’t He luring them to do it? Wasn’t He tempting them?

Of course not! God put the tree in the Garden of Eden to give mankind free will. If they never had the opportunity to decide to obey or disobey, they wouldn’t have true freedom to make their own choices. The tree was an important test of their faith. Did they trust God enough to obey Him?

This is an important distinction. God tests us to prove our faith and to strengthen our character. But He doesn’t tempt us. Ever. Testing and tempting are two different things. Tempting is enticing someone into wrongdoing whereas testing is “proving by trial.”

For example, teachers test their students by trial. They give them problems to “try out” and prove what they have learned. Before someone can work as a professional, they often have to take a test to prove they have the knowledge and skills to do the job effectively.

Back to God putting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden. Remember what God had said to them? “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). God had given them every other tree! They had everything they needed and more! It’s not like God set a single fruit tree in front of them when they were starving and told them not to eat from it. No, He provided for their every need and gave them only one boundary. Only one tree was off-limits, and He was honest and straightforward about the rule and the consequence.

In the fall of man, the only one responsible for tempting Adam and Eve was Satan Himself. In Genesis 3:1-5, we see Satan luring them specifically to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and prompting them to question what God had said. Satan was the trickster. He was the one being crafty. He was the one with ulterior motives.

Friends, if you are battling temptations, know this—God is not responsible for your temptation. Temptations are not from Him. But He is there to help you overcome and escape your temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Hebrews 2:18 reminds us that Jesus Himself also endured temptation: “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Instead of blaming God when we give in to sin, we should turn to Him for help the moment we are tempted and look for the escape route that He’s providing. The bottom line? Our sins are never, ever God’s fault.

Pray

Father, as Jesus prayed, so do I. Please lead me away from temptation. When I am struggling to make the right decision and I’m being seduced to sin, show me the way out and give me the strength and will-power to take it. Amen.

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