We Are Meant to Run

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Have you ever played Jenga? That game is so frustrating! You keep removing parts of the tower, these little wooden blocks, and then you place them on the top, building the tower higher and higher until someone removes the wrong block and it collapses.

Life is a lot like Jenga. When we recognize our faults, we try to remove them, or adapt them. But we end up putting that little fault on top of everything else and continue building our own personal tower until it collapses. Sometimes it’s a situation or an object that tempts us too much. So we avoid it—watching TV, being around alcohol, going to sports games—until we think we’re over it. We’ve conquered that sin in ourselves, we’re past the temptation. And then we go back.

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Jesus said: “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another” (Matthew 10:23). Paul told the Corinthians to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18) and “from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14); he told Timothy “man of god, flee from all this (the love of money)” (1 Timothy 6:11) and to “flee from the evil desires of youth” (2 Timothy 2:22).

When temptation comes, we are meant to run. But instead we remove the temptation from us, instead of ourselves from it, and reinsert it higher up in the tower, on an ever more unstable foundation. But all this only proves that we are human. If we submit ourselves to God, “resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). God gave us His spirit that we might be empowered, so that when we fail to run, we may fight.

Pray: O Lord, there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Help me to see Your will and to use Your strength in my everyday battles. Amen.

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Michael Harrell is a former staff member and current volunteer at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Federal Way, Washington. A blogger by hobby and social media manager by trade, he continues to teach the faith to ninth graders when he's not busy watching movies or theatre. He loves the Seattle Mariners, and his wife wants you to know he's married. You can follow him on Twitter.