Why are we not tempted to good?

If we, who were darkness, can become eternal Light (even if gradually, bit by bit), why are we not continuously tempted to do just this? Is it because we actually don’t believe it at all? Or is it because the transition hurts, while our old animal feelings are comfortingly familiar?

Have you ever thought about this? Temptation is something most people experience. Today, though, I will frame this in the classic Christian framework, where we are tempted to sin, ie to do bad things, things we should not do. Either because they harm others, because they harm ourselves, or because they harm our relationship with God. And yet, despite knowing this, we are tempted, often over and over.

The Bible, in James 1, says: “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” The space between sin and death is where a Christian will often seek help from the Lord, seeking forgiveness (better late than never!). But the space between temptation and sin is where temptation can be resisted. (Not only by Christians, although we should have a particular motivation and divine help in that regard.)

But are we actually alone with our temptation? In that moment, it will often seem so. Whether it is lust, anger, fear, revulsion, or some other “hot state of the mind”, this rising impulse seems to embrace us and tell us: “Become one with me, and this conflict will end, you will feel whole while we are one.” If I know better, if I seek to resist, I seem to be all alone with my temptation. But is this truly the case?

There is a fascinating story in 2. Kings 6, where the prophet Elisha and his manservant find themselves in a town surrounded by a foreign army. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.  “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

When we experience an unexpected injustice, we feel anger rising, and we find ourselves completely surrounded and alone in this situation. Why are we not simultaneously tempted to do the opposite? Why don’t we see Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, calling to us: “No, follow me, and you will be a light that shines for eternity. I came all the way down to take on a flesh like yours, so I could lead you the whole way home. If you overcome, you too will become awesome, and have your part in Divine nature, as a true Child of God, Light of Light.”

It is a mystery, is it not? Does the Lord really withdraw from us in our temptations, so that we must call: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Or is it just that our eyes are not opened, so we see only the opposing army and not the glorious support that is on our side?

More research is clearly needed on this topic.

Meanwhile, enjoy a Christian song about resisting temptation. Simplistic and incomplete, it is mainly for motivation, which I feel it does well.


Feeling sheepish today.

On January 15, I went outside to buy some groceries late at night. I fell on ice that was covered with a thin layer of snow, and crushed my hip socket. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put my hip socket together again. So instead I got a metal replacement for both the hip and socket. Surgery happened on the 19th, and clearly I survived the surgery. Full anesthetic is a little more dangerous for us autistic people, since our brains are differently wired, but it probably doesn’t make a big difference with such limited autism as I have. I was in City of Heroes when they gently woke me up again, which is funny because I have over the last few years made attempts at writing a story about someone waking up in their favorite superhero game after their apparent death. Well, that did not happen to me, and for this I am grateful.

So far my health has slowly but steadily improved, long may it last. I am currently at a rehabilitation center for complex (physical) trauma, and am receiving good help. As a Norwegian in Norway, I get this for free. Even the food, so I am actually saving money being here. (Not recommending crushing your skeleton for that, though.)

My Pixel phone was without charge for about a week (the specialist hospital only used Apple equipment so had no charger). I had plenty of time to reconsider my life choices. I decided to consecrate my life to the death and life of Jesus Christ and to the God he calls our Heavenly Father. I wish to live the rest of my life serving God, abstaining from willing sin, and blessing my fellow humans if I can.

I don’t expect to write a lot of sermons or lectures on these things. Others can do that much better. After I got an Internet connection again, I have spent some time reading and listening to Active Christianity, a resource associated with some people I personally know and respect for their deep, personal piety and love. Although I don’t personally know the people you will see and hear on the website.uu

I am aware that Christianity is controversial, not least because of the broadly accepted belief that God will arrange for unbelievers to suffer horribly for all eternity. I have already mentioned before that I find this at odds with Jesus’ own words that The One can destroy both body and soul in Hell. Since utter destruction is generally what my atheist friends are looking forward to anyway, that seems fair enough. See also the Judeo-Christian creation myth in Genesis, where God warns that death will ensue if Adam pursues knowledge of both good and evil. This would have been a great time to warn of endless immeasurable suffering, but no such thing was mentioned. Even the apostle Paul says that the wages of sin are death.

Therefore, at the present time, my decision to take a firm stand for Christ and the Father is not motivated by fear of endless suffering, but by a longing to live a better life and have a living connection to the Eternal Light in the archetypal form that I have come to know, a loving God that can ignite love and light in me as well. I have looked at various religions and spiritual practices, as documented in earlier writings here, but in the end, this is the only path for me.

If this goes as expected, there will be less time for various other things, but we shall see if I can keep you updated on some other aspects of the extraordinary time we live in. Time will show.