Temptation does not turn into sin until we give in to it. While it remains as something that we have not entertained in our minds, it has not yet drawn us into the world of sin. Lot and Abram look out of the land and Lot chooses the best looking or most fertile land to take for himself. The text tells us quite clearly that he chooses to dwell very close to the people of Sodom who are very great sinners. Abram chooses the less populated and thus ‘safer’ land in which to dwell. Ultimately Lot loses most of what he has, including his wife who turns into a pillar of salt, when the Lord sends destruction upon the city of Sodom and its inhabitants.

Sin can be very appealing just as the fertile land of the Jordan River was more appealing to Lot than the other lands on offer. However, we often need to examine any particular option more closely as there could be hidden or semi-hidden consequences of that particular choice. Temptation is very appealing at times but the consequences can always be summed up in either of two words, sin or death!

As each of us seeks to grow in holiness it is important to grasp this lesson. No matter how attractive a proposition may be, if it is sinful or even if it just induces us to enter into the proximity of sin (as in the case of Lot), it is better for us in the long term to reject it. The only way to grow in holiness is to keep sin as far away from us as is possible. In the final analysis, quite often it is able to trace a given sin back to the moment where we entertained the temptation to sin. If we had rejected the temptation and not dialogued with the devil about it, we would have been able to avoid the sin altogether!

The mistake of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eve was to dialogue with the serpent. If they had refused to listen to the serpent and not responded to it, they might never have eaten the apple. Wisdom tells us to be careful as to the situations we place ourselves in and the thoughts we entertain in our minds.

How carefully do I protect myself from temptation? Are the places I go and the things I do with my friends really helping me to grow in holiness? How holy are the thoughts I entertain in my mind?

Lord Jesus, you want me to be free of al temptation to sin. Help me to realize that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in my life in co-operation with my will. Grant me the will to be holy.