No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Isolation makes it more difficult for Christians to overcome temptations. Although this a sobering reality, it also means we can better face temptation through Christian community.
There are two distinctive ways we as Christians can become isolated. One is not participating in-person with fellow Christians. This happens when we…
- Stop attending worship services and Bible studies
- Cease engaging in service or outreach with brothers and sisters in Christ
- Avoid family or friends who are believers.
The second form of isolation is personal. We attempt to deal with temptations alone, not sharing our struggles or concerns with fellow believers. This form of isolation can take place even if we’re surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ.
Personal isolation deepens the more we think that the temptation we face is unique, something with which other believers are not grappling. The more embarrassing and shameful the temptation or potential sin, the more we’re driven to personal isolation.
This is one reason God moved the Apostle Paul to write in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” This helps break the spell of isolation. We are never alone in our temptations. Countless fellow believers over the millennium have experienced it as well. There are those who could support and encourage us because of shared experience.
The passage continues by saying God will provide a way for us to escape temptation. This is one reason God calls us into community. One way God helps us escape from temptation is through brothers and sisters who can walk with us through trials. When we endure temptation, we don’t have to do so alone.
(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District-LCMS.)