Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

These words were spoken by a woman many of us know of and admire greatly – Helen Keller. Helen was both blind and deaf as a result of a childhood illness. She became very frustrated as a child and violent at times because of her inabilities. It wasn’t until Helen met Annie Sullivan, a teacher and mentor, that she began to see her potential and the success she could have, despite her hardships. Helen Keller became the first blind person to receive a bachelor of arts degree and went on to became an author, a lecturer and inspiration to the world.

Moving from frustration to fulfillment in our life begins and ends with the choices we make. Moses made that clear to the Israelites in Scripture. He said, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live,” Deut. 30:19.

He wanted them to know, listening well to God leads to choosing well and living well. So how do we continue to choose well amidst the trouble and temptation that’s a part of our world? God’s word clarifies that for us in the first chapter of the book of James.

James wrote, consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Joy is not the usual emotion we feel when we have trouble in life. But James knew our natural tendency to escape our difficulty rather than to endure to the right end.

He went on to tell us how temptation plays out in our life: When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, or does he tempt anyone: but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Temptation is not a sin but an opportunity for sin. We see how this played out in the lives of the first humans in the Garden of Eden.

First, we redefine temptation.The serpent said to Eve in the garden, “Did God really say.” The enemy will always try to get us to reconsider God’s commands and consequences.

Second, we are dragged away by temptation.Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom. She was enticed by the benefits sin could bring.

Then lastly, temptation isn’t just considered but chosen. She took some and ate it. We act on the temptation instead of avoiding it.

I’ve heard it said that, Forbidden fruit creates lots of jams. It’s better to put off the deception of the enemy and to call good what God calls good. Then we’ll find, along with our children, that choosing well always leads to living well.

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit myffc.com.

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