Jms. 1:13-16 “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own evil desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.”
It is a perverse misunderstanding to attribute evil motives to God, including temptation. He does not put us in situations to tempt us. I am quite capable of putting myself in those situations on a regular basis. God does not tempt me to sin. The verses 15-16 teach that I am tempted by the sinful desires that dwell within me.
Whatever deception we have heard elsewhere, human beings are not basically good. We are sinful beings filled with selfish, sinful desires. Those desires are what tempt us. We want something that is wrong for us and we want it more than we want to resist. We yield; we sin. Sin results in death, both physical and eternal. The blame game doesn’t work. God is not responsible for tempting me. The person or situation I find tempting is not responsible. I myself am responsible when I allow myself to be lured and enticed by my sinful own desires.
I weigh nearly 35 pounds more than God designed my frame to carry. That is just plain wrong. I am aware of it. I say I am trying to lose weight and yet when good food is in front of my face I eat more than a “reasonable portion.” If I am at the home of a friend I would love to excuse myself with the thought, “Well, she made this good food and this delectable dessert. It would be unkind to eat a tiny portion and turn away the dessert.” In effect I can blame my friend that time, right?
I attend a meeting and lo, and behold! They serve ice cream to us and ask us to vote on which is the best tasting. Surely the blame falls on those who brought the ice cream!
I am responsible for every morsel that passes my lips (and every word that comes forth as well, but that’s another story). There will always be reasons not to obey. That’s the human condition. Rationalization rules! The blame game is the favorite game of the age. Anything to avoid shouldering responsibility for my own choices, my own sin.
God is never to blame and, as a matter of fact, neither is Satan. Is that a surprise? The devil never makes me do it. He holds out the allure and suggests the benefits, but the choice is mine alone.