This week’s short message by Pastor Eric Stetson. Watch the video or read text below.
Would you rather have an itch and enjoy being able to scratch it, or would you rather have no itch at all? Most of us would probably say we’d rather have no itch at all, but is that really how we live our lives?
Let’s face it, much of life for most people is about scratching some itch — whether it’s the desire for food, sex, money, power, or attention and approval from others. Whatever it is that we want, we’re constantly tempted to try and go get it. And the more we scratch, the more we itch. That’s true for a literal itch on your skin, and it’s true for many temptations. Seeking pleasure often becomes an addiction.
Now there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life, but if you live your life as a slave to your desires, you’re not living up to your full human potential. Human beings are animals, but our souls are created in the image of God. If you always obey your instincts and indulge all your temptations, you’re living like an animal and neglecting the higher calling of the soul.
The truth is, a big part of the reason our souls are here on earth is to experience temptation and overcome it. Even Jesus was tempted, but he resisted all the temptations of the devil and accepted what he knew God was calling him to do — even to go to the cross.
The greatest temptation of Jesus was worldly power. If only he would turn away from God’s plan, Satan said he could be the ruler of all the kingdoms of the world. Imagine a world ruled by the perfect benevolent dictator — a world where everyone is forced to be righteous.
But God wants each and every one of us to be free to choose between good and evil. By resisting temptation, we can grow into our full potential in the divine image and reign with Christ in the Heavenly Kingdom.