The Everyday Girl Guide to: James and My Life (James 1:13-15)

June 24, 2013

I get the joy of my kids being around for two weeks straight with no school (then they go to their dad’s house for two weeks).  Because I tend to do things full-steam-ahead, this means I may be a bit more sleep-deprived than normal for the next two weeks.  This really has nothing to do with James 1:13-15… and yet it does.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I tend to not sleep a lot.  Some of that is just a natural need for less sleep; I really do run well on six hours of sleep a night for a very long time.  Some of it is that afore-mentioned tendency to do things full-power; my boyfriend has already nicknamed me “energizer bunny”… and I haven’t even pulled an all-nighter in the recent past.

However, not sleeping a lot does slowly have a cumulative effect; the natural filter in my brain that tells me something might be appropriate or inappropriate, as well as the sense that I’m really not hungry, tends to fade.  The desire for things that make me instantly feel better (caffeine, sugar, and the best of both– chocolate) replaces a desire for time in Scripture, time with God and my family, or exercise.

No bueno!

I don’t want to go through life making bad choices just because I thought I’d fit an extra episode of Grimm in before bed.  I don’t want to neglect the important things because I didn’t make the effort to manage my time.

How does this go with the verse above?

All too often it’s easy to blame temptation on God “testing us” to help us grow.  Don’t get me wrong: I know God wants me to grow and He’s more than willing to allow circumstances to provide growth opportunity.  But it’s not a test anymore than it’s a real test when a teacher in school gets out the test, gets out the answer key, and goes over it with you ahead of time so you know all the answers.  Yeah, if you don’t pay attention, it may feel like a test when the real thing happens; if you don’t put in the effort to learn the answers, you may have no clue when faced with an actual test.  But the teacher (and God) gave you everything you needed to succeed.  You just didn’t learn the lesson.

The same thing happens with temptation, except that I set myself up for failure by not sleeping well the night before a “test”.  Then I’m so tired that I forget lessons I’ve already learned and get upset when I fail the test.

I have a lot of weaknesses; unsurprisingly, I can keep most of them under easy control as long as I’m grounded by God and rested physically (yeah, this means when I overdo a workout, it affects more than my ability to walk for the next few days!).  But when I’m worn down in body or spirit, I make poor choices.  I yield to desires and I give sin a place in my life.  The more I do a sin, the harder it is to keep at bay.

So maybe I won’t blog as much for the next two weeks.  Instead I’ll try to sleep a little bit better.  Maybe I won’t get in quite the same workouts… but I won’t have to work as hard at keeping out of trouble. 

I think the tradeoff is worth it.

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One Response to “The Everyday Girl Guide to: James and My Life (James 1:13-15)”


  1. […] I get tired (see my earlier blog post here), I tend to lose my temper more.  I’m tired a lot, so struggling with my temper is a pretty […]


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