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Matthew 4:5 (NLT) Then the devil took him to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!”
Once again, Henri Nouwen provides some tremendous insight into Jesus’ temptation.
Temptation #2: You are what others say or think about you.
Imagine for a moment that Jesus gave in to the devil’s temptation here. What would have occurred?
At its core, this temptation was about getting people to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. The devil’s temptation was another way of saying, “What people say about you is what really matters. If people see the angels rescue you, just imagine what the people will say!” Once again, Jesus did not give-in to this temptation.
Unfortunately, far too often, we do give-in to this temptation. We falsely believe the lie that what others say or think about us is what defines us. But again, God identifies us as His children and friends. What others say or think about you does not define who you are.
READING & PRAYERS:
QUESTION: What are some ways in which you’ve been tempted to believe that your identity (your worth and value) comes from what others say or think about you? Be specific.
Take a Step: Remember to continue utilizing the One Minute Pause app throughout the week. If possible, begin to explore and practice the 3, 5 or 10 minute pause to more deeply root yourself in Christ.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, once again I confess that far too often I believe the lie that what others say or think about me is what most defines me. I recognize that I regularly treat others with kindness and respect not because of who they are, but because I want them to like me more. I’m beginning to see the foolishness of this belief. Today, help me to love others not so they will like me, but instead as a reflection of Your love, grace, and mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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