That First Sip

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15, ESV) For most of my life, I managed to avoid acquiring a taste for coffee. I loved the atmosphere of our local coffee shop, but always ordered my favorite iced tea – summer or winter. All that changed when I attended a Christmas function last December where they served made to order latte.

I didn’t want to be the only person not drinking coffee, so I chose a sugar free hazelnut latte with all the trimmings. Much to my surprise, I loved the taste and now I find myself wanting one of those delectable delights on a regular basis. If only I hadn’t taken that first sip.

While my latte habit isn’t necessarily a sin, it does contribute to fewer dollars in my purse. I’m reminded that sin begins much in the same matter – first comes the temptation. We see something that is good and pleasing and think just one time won’t hurt. Yet one time leads to another, then another, and soon we find ourselves in situations from which we can’t easily break away.

God promises that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

The best way to avoid sin is not take that first sip, that first look, or that first step. However, in our fleshly nature, we will commit sin, but we can come boldly before the throne. There we will receive mercy and find grace.

Joan Hall became a Christian at age ten, but many years passed before she allowed Jesus to be Lord of her life. Now she is passionate about telling others about the abundant life found in Christ. She is married to her best friend, John, and they serve together in prison ministry. Joan leads women's Bible studies and co-leads a writer’s group at her home church. She loves writing from her country home in East Texas and enjoys taking photographs. You can find her at her personal blog, Reflections.

Note: photo is courtesy of Google images