Lead us not into temptation

Today I wasn’t at my happiest. I’d written an article that was so heavily edited by someone that I wondered if he ought to put his name to it, not mine. Several chunks of the original had been removed and complete sentences added that I never wrote – and didn’t like either. Even the theology was diluted. But there it was in public view with my name on it.

Several temptations immediately came to mind. At the top of the list and most pressing was the temptation to air off to people about it. See what they thought. And that led naturally to the second priority, to see who supported me in my wounded state. Did I have a case for being wounded? Well, yes, it seems I did. Everyone I talked to said the editor had clearly stepped outside the bounds of propriety.

Now the serious temptations began. I had a case, a reason for complaint. So, should I whistle off a blistering note to him, to trim his feathers in future? Or should I refuse to write any more articles for that publication, or what?

And then “Lead us not into temptation” came to mind, not surprisingly, because at that point I was being led into temptation. My brain wanted the editor soundly reprimanded, even if it meant wrecking my relationship with him. It was my brain, therefore, that was leading me into temptation – a temptation I didn’t like, though, because the last thing I wanted was the devil using this situation to divide two Christians. So rather than my brain doing the leading, I prayed that GOD do the leading, because he WOULDN’T lead me into a temptation that would divide two Christians. MY brain would, but his brain wouldn’t. So I prayed that HE would do the leading, because if my brain did the leading it would end up a mess.

It was a simple case of who was doing the leading in this situation, God or me. My brain was already well on the way to leading me into the temptation to do something I knew I’d regret later. My brain is really good at that too, at making things worse than they already are, and in my present agitated state my brain was already well on the way to doing exactly that again. So I felt free to pray what Jesus deeply felt the need to pray too, which in my terms came out as, “Father, lead me not into the temptation that MY silly brain would like to lead me into. Don’t let my brain do the leading here. Please, overrule my brain for me and take over.”