Tempting!

This devotional idea came to me as I read a newsletter at my church from a family our church supported who lived in the Philippines. Matt and Peggy Littell and their two sons were establishing churches in this country when this terrible accident occurred. Peggy’s response is stellar. I have often prayed for God’s grace in responding to people who have hurt me, even accidentally. It’s a struggle but with God’s help we can overcome. A longer version of this story was published in two books of short stories and several Christian magazines. Powerful.

Temptation can do more damage than we know. Photo by Matt Carrigan

“And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him alone.’” (Luke 4:8)

Matt, a Christian missionary, had been killed accidentally by a jeepney driver. Filipino law stated that someone who caused a death was imprisoned until the matter was  resolved, unless the victim’s family authorized his release.

Peggy, Matt’s widow, knew the jeepney driver was not guilty. She also knew his family would starve without his daily income. She requested that he be released.

At Matt’s viewing a native woman and man approached Peggy. As the couple began speaking, Peggy realized it was the jeepney driver and his wife. They told her how their children had gone without food while he was locked up. They were thankful for his release.

It would have been tempting for Peggy not to forgive the driver for killing Matt. In her grief she could have made him suffer as she suffered. But temptation didn’t guide Peggy’s life. Love did. She invited the driver to church. He and his family began attending and later, he became a Christian. Better yet, he started bringing people to church in his jeepney.

Peggy and Jesus didn’t let temptation guide their lives. Neither should we. Ask God to show you how temptation is affecting your life and how it can be eradicated so His will may be done.

Prayer:  Lord, we are so often swept away by passion and selfish desire until our lives are ruined. Yet with Jesus’ example You made a way for us to be strong. When temptation is before us, remind us that we can resist everything in Your name.

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