There is a show on Cable TV called “Temptation Island.” And while I’ve never watched it, Wikipedia tells me it is based on the premise of bringing several couples to an island where they live – separated from each other – as a group of singles of the opposite sex with the idea of testing the strength of their relationships before making a lifetime commitment to each other. Some couples make it, others don’t.

As we’ve been learning, Corinth was a bit of a “Temptation Island” where accepted promiscuity and religious prostitution tested the sexual fidelity of many a marriage. The problem in the Corinthian church, as you well know, was that failure was seen as normal, particularly from the point of view of the husband.

If you or I were sent off to a “Temptation Island” so to speak, I wonder what would be there? What would pull us to consider getting, or to actually get, our needs met outside of marriage, even if they are being somewhat met inside of it? What would tempt our hearts away from our spouse? What would cause us to step out of bounds, either physically or in our hearts? For guys, the temptation to wander might come in the form of an image, be it pornographic or otherwise (think of how desirable it is sometimes to linger over an Instagram picture or an attractive woman who crosses your path). For the women, whose husbands might have become a bit less romantic and attentive than they used to be, the temptation to wander might not come in an image (though it might) but rather in the printed word. (It was surprising to me to find that Christian women read Fifty Shades of Grey just as much as non-Christian women.) “Mommy Porn,” as some of this literature is called, fills the Kindles and Nooks of many a Christian woman.

As we do our best to be disciples of Christ in a society that thinks nothing of letting its collective heart turn to people other than their spouse to get certain needs met, we would do well to remember this isn’t what God wants for us. It’s better to let a need go unmet than to fulfill it in a sinful way. But that’s not the way of the world, is it? The ethic of “Temptation Island” is to make sure all our needs are being met, while the ethic of the kingdom of God is to trust Him to meet our needs while living faithfully to Him and His ways as we wait on His good hand of provision.

Scott Smith
Connection & Growth Pastor

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