Tested or Tempted?

James 1:13 teaches us, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrongimages and never tempts anyone else to do it.

What is the difference between a temptation and a test?

The Bible declares that God has tested people but that He does not tempt people. Likewise, the Apostle Paul commands us to test ourselves to see if we are still in the faith.

Neither temptation nor testing is wrong only our response to them. God was tempted while living among us as a Man by His enemy the devil and passed those temptations without compromise. God never fell to temptation because it is not in His nature to do so which is also why He never uses temptation against a person.

So what is temptation?

Temptation is the opportunity to disobey God and gratify our flesh or carnal nature. Temptation appeals to our fallen, base and selfish nature inviting us to fulfill our deepest though corrupt desires. Temptation is always an allurement away from God and His specific will for our lives because it is an appeal to gratify our sinful nature.

So what is testing?

Testing is the opportunity to obey God thus demonstrating our true loyalty to ourselves, others, spiritual beings and God Himself to Whom we truly belong. Testing always leads us to God for its end is obedience. Testing invites us into a deeper commitment to God for it appeals to our will and not our flesh.

Testing is the opportunity to say, ‘yes’ to God whereas tempting is the opportunity to say, ‘no’ to God.

Neither of these occurrences are trials which is a whole other matter but are in essence the perils of living in a fallen world to which every human must endure at some level.

Since God is holy and cannot be corrupt or led into corruption He will test His people to demonstrate their allegiance and obedience. Since the evil one is corrupt he will tempt people inviting them to gratify and satisfy themselves in defiance of God.

Whether we are tempted or tested we are always to obey God; this is our highest duty as created beings before our Creator.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Basam

    Very insightful and provides clarity between being tested and tempted along with what our response to either means.
    In Luke 4, we see that even Christ is tested in the wilderness, yet He is steadfast in His conviction that we are to worship God only, and serve Him.

    1. Mike

      Thanks friend. Your question was the impetus for this article.

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