Meditation Commentary on James 1:13-16
13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
When we mess up, or something goes wrong, it is natural for us to blame someone else for that. The “finger-pointing” tendency is human nature. Verse 13 of James 1 addresses this issue very clearly when it commands us never to say that God tempts us. This verse also speaks of the perfection and dignity our Lord when it says that He “…CANNOT be tempted by evil.” This is an inconceivable thought for me – the fact that it is impossible for God to be tempted by evil. This fact is one of the main things that set humans and the all-powerful creator of the universe apart!
After hearing that God is not the one who provokes us to sin, we find in verse 14 that the responsibility is ours. When I sin, it is because of MY own desire to do wrong. A verse that comes to mind regarding this topic, is 1 Corinthians 10:13; which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” From this verse, it appears that God regulates the amount of temptation we receive. Therefore, we are not tempted by God; however, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond the amount we can handle.
In verse 15, we see that sin leads to death. The Greek word that is used here is “thanatos,” which literally means “death.” Sin is something that can start out small in our life, and continue to grow until it overtakes our life – both spiritually and or physically.
Through meditating on these verses, I pray that God will give me the grace to stand strong in times of temptation, that I will not be drawn away by the lies of Satan, and that Christ will be glorified in the end.