Here is a thought I wrote down in the margin of my Bible: “Our own temptations lead us to tempt others.”

James 1:13-15 NASB Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. (14) But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (15) Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

If God cannot be tempted by evil and that is why He does not tempt us, that leads me to conclude – thinking backwards – that I can tempt others because I am tempted by evil. I am the tempter as much as Satan is the tempter (Mt.4:3; 1 Thess.3:5). I am what Satan is…. Can any read that last sentence without trepidation?

It is accepted that I can be tempted. It is terrifying, frightening and sobering that I can tempt others because I can be tempted. I can lead people to sin. I can lead people to hell. There’s a biblical word for this effect – stumbling: Mark 9:42 NASB “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.

Let us all remember the effect – whether for good or bad – that we can have on others. That effect can be either a blessing or a curse. Which will we make it today?

Article by Perry Hall