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It's insidious, they say,
the way
it catches us unaware.

How do I prepare
to avoid
agreeing with the enemy of my soul?

It's insidious! The thing seems so right!
It might
be the very thing that brings me down.

What are the warning signs that
flag up
that things are not as they should be?

It's insidious! Just a bit of fun;
a joke,
I didn't realise it would hurt.

It's insidious! I knew it wasn't quite true —
The lie
I told to get out of a fix
Before I knew it, I'd told six.

It's insidious! He was bringing me down
With his criticism and comments.
I was tired
I snapped and ...
He was on the ground.

Temptation does not come
as a bolt out of the blue,
but rather
Like a silent serpent slithering stealthily,
Seeking the second it should strike.

Like a lioness, crouching in the long savannah grass,
For that moment to pounce,
before her prey can get away.

Like a crocodile, lurking, looking like an innocent log in the shallows of the waterhole.
Beady eyes,
Watching for its chance to spring into action —
tail swinging,
teeth snapping
on that tasty morsel that stood innocently sipping on the shoreline.


Thinking about this poem, I  realise that temptation doesn't come upon us, all-at-once, suddenly like the strike of a serpent, the pounce of a lioness, or the crunch of the crocodile. That's more like the moment when we've succumbed to the temptation and do what, in our better judgment, we would not have done.

Temptation is more like the moments before that strike, the crouching, the lurking.

The encouraging thing is that predators don't always catch their prey. Sometimes even when they catch the animal, it manages to escape and live to tell about it.

We may have been caught, lured into sin and seemingly defeated, but realising our predicament, we CAN escape, maybe wounded, but not destroyed. We can't do it ourselves, but if we call on Jesus, confess our sin, he will bring us out. It's called repentance, which means turning around.


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