James 1:12-18

I recently unsubscribed from a monthly newsletter sent by an author
I know. It’s not because the newsletter isn’t excellent. It is. It’s beau-
tifully written and funny, full of interesting ideas and great book
suggestions. But every time it appears in my inbox, I drop down a
hidey hole to wallow in self-doubt. Why don’t I write a newsletter?
Why don’t I have any news? I have no new books ready to publish—
not yet, anyway. But I love my life. So why does her success bother
me so much? Why can’t I just cheer her on? Sometimes I wish I could
take a vacation from myself!

But I can’t escape myself, even for a second. I have to live with my faults—my jealousy, my competitiveness, my tendency to throw private pity parties—and battle them. I want to follow Jesus and these faults surely get in the way.

Today’s scripture says we’re blessed if we can endure temptation. Maybe the key is the word endure. I don’t think I can immediately banish my envious thoughts, but I can if I notice them, examine them, consider their source, and remind myself of God’s truth that I am enough the way I am. If jealousy keeps hounding me, I start over, listening for God again. Going for a walk helps too.

It is comforting to remember that God only wants good things
for us. The Creator of light wants to bathe us in it. Let’s move all the
obstacles out of the way.


What do you find yourself doing that hinders you from following God? Do you need to start over with listening to God, or maybe going for a walk?


Dear God, give us strength as we endure temptation. Amen.

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