Return It! (Proverbs 7:6-10)

I was on the phone with customer service for an online retailer. I received an email notification that the mobile smart device I ordered had been delivered to my home. However a search in my mailbox, porch, and front lawn could not locate it. The retailer agreed to send me a new device which arrived two days later. I was pleased by such prompt service. The next day, another box arrived on my porch. It was partially opened with a hand-written note scrawled upon the packaging. “Sorry, delivered to me by mistake and I opened it.” Of course the proper action was to notify the retailer the missing device had been found and I should return it. However, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I should keep it? I could always pay for it, I reasoned with myself. I opened the rest of the packaging, retrieved the device, and attempted to personalize it with my account information. An unusual thing happened. Although I did the same process to activate my device that came the previous day, this time, the new device would not take my information. I attempted to do it several times, all to no avail. Finally, I called customer service with the retailer and requested a return authorization. 

I shouldn’t have attempted to use it. I should have kept it unopened in the package and immediately requested a return label. But no, I had to place myself squarely in the path of temptation. If it wasn’t for the inexplicable failure for the device to register under my name, I may have continued. A coincidence? I think not. 

At the window of my house I looked through my lattice. I saw among the inexperienced, I noticed among the youths, a young man lacking sense. Crossing the street near her corner, he strolled down the road to her house at twilight, in the evening, in the dark of the night. A woman came to meet him dressed like a prostitute, having a hidden agenda.

Proverbs 7:6-10 (CSB)

Did this young man have to stroll near the house of this woman? No. While this woman did tempt him, He squarely placed himself in the path of temptation. As the Bible later reveals, he fell victim to his own weakness. He was responsible for his own actions. 

God does not always directly intervene in my life when I place myself in the pathway of temptation. While this example may seem trivial, it vividly illustrates how vulnerable I am to succumbing to temptation. I know what God’s Word states and yet, I was willing to disobey. I, alone, am responsible for my own actions. Will God be there the next time for me? Only by God’s grace and mercy was I spared. How about you? Will God intervene in your life or will you fall victim to temptation and sin? Taking a questionable tax deduction, holding back on tithing to afford a new purchase-fill in the blanks with your life. We are all exposed to temptation but it is only when we act upon it that it becomes a sin. 

How desperately we need a Savior. How desperately I need Jesus Christ. 

There are no coincidences with God. His sovereign will always remind me of what I should know.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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