Let’s be honest with ourselves. Our problem isn’t simply that we commit acts of sin that we know to be wrong. We then add to the problem by denying or at least minimizing our responsibility for them. Continue reading . . .
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Our problem isn’t simply that we commit acts of sin that we know to be wrong. We then add to the problem by denying or at least minimizing our responsibility for them. We blame God (after all, isn’t he sovereign over all things?). This started in the garden when Adam said to God: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate” (Gen. 3:12). God then turned to Eve and said: “’What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’” (Gen. 3:13). As I’m sure you’ve heard said before: Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on!
If we can’t pin the blame on God, we blame our heredity: “My mom and dad set a bad example for me,” or “I was born this way so get off my back.” Of course, the tried and true fallback is to blame it all on Satan.
But it is with our tendency to accuse God that James is particularly concerned in v. 13 of chapter one of his letter. There he says: “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.”
He’s not saying here that God is naïve or ignorant of the nature of evil, nor does he mean to say that people can’t put God to the test (we know that Israel did this repeatedly during their wilderness wanderings, and Jesus was three-times tempted by Satan). His point is that if there is nothing in God that evil may assault, i