You know when you’re walking down the street and someone comes in the opposite direction and you do this little dance where you both move to your right, then to your left, then back to your right. . .until one of you finally stands still and lets the other one go by?
I had that experience with a pigeon once. I felt a little mischievous so I walked straight toward the pigeon and it walked straight toward me. As we got closer, it started doing that little dance, unsure if it should go left or right.
Suddenly, it got nervous, spun around and quickly walked in the opposite direction.
That memory still makes me laugh, but it also makes me think of how we do that little dance with sin. Sometimes temptation surprises us and we have to think fast.
I wasn’t a danger to the pigeon, even if it felt like I was, but the spiritual enemies we face are dangerous. Wisdom reminds us to turn and walk away instead of trying to “fight” temptation. (Take it from my own experience: Temptation is a better negotiator than you are so don’t even try.)
So, what do we do? The Bible gives us lots of great tips and encouragement:
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41 / Mark 14:38)
“Because [Jesus] himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
“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.” (James 1:13-14)
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
I know that pigeons generally get a bad rap, but this one taught me a good lesson that I’ll always remember. I pray that you, too, will have the courage to walk away from sin. God will help you:
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
If you’re battling a temptation you just can’t seem to shake, I’d love to pray for you. You don’t have to tell me what your challenge is. Just send me a note saying, “Pray for me!” and I will.