Resist the Enticers, Run to Jesus (Proverbs 1:10)
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. —Proverbs 1:10
The book of Proverbs is filled with wise counsel. The advice given to us throughout Proverbs is always for our good. Here we are told that if sinners entice us, we are not to give in to them, or consent. In our culture, we are surrounded by those who would like to see us give in to their ways—the ways that are counter to the ways of our wonderful LORD.
What are some ways that we might be enticed by sinners all around us? Maybe a friend at school who encourages us to cheat on a test. “After all,” he tells us, “everyone else is doing it.” Or we are encouraged to take something that does not belong to us. And with the help of another sinner, we rationalize that the person we are stealing from does not need it or will not miss it. How about all the advertisers out there that are encouraging us to buy something, appealing to our greed or materialism?
It could be someone on the internet tempting us to go to a website that we know is not a place for a follower of Jesus to be. Often enticers use the excuse that it is not hurting anybody else so that makes it okay. In fact, they might tell us that we deserve a break or the pleasure it brings. The TV producer who pushes the line to question the goodness of God. The car dealer who encourages us to go into debt to get the vehicle that will meet all our needs. And the list goes on.
Evil is enticing because it appeals to our eyes, to our hearts, to our pride, to our desires. But evil desires fulfilled will always fall short of true joy—ultimate joy. The things others are tempting us with are substitutes for the real thing. When we give in we will either feel very guilty or we will become calloused to the ways of God. That is a very scary place to be!
But don’t despair. If you are a follower of Jesus and yet you’ve listened to enticers and given in to the temptations (consented to their enticements), the Holy Spirit will convict you. And we can choose to respond to Him in repentance. Our guilt can lead us to forgiveness. My son, my friend, my daughter, my neighbor—run to Jesus! He can protect you from enticers! He can forgive if you have consented to enticers. In fact, He’s the only one who can forgive us and give us life abundantly. My fellow sinner in need of grace, it’s ours to have for our battles with temptation and sin. Enticers may try to get you on their team. They may try to entice you with shiny baubles and promises of pleasure. But they can’t give you anything that compares with the joy of following Jesus.
This children’s song may help you remember to not listen to enticers: Oh be careful little eyes what you see. Oh be careful little eyes what you see. For your Father up above is looking down in love, So be careful little eyes what you see.
Oh be careful little hands what you do. Oh be careful little hands what you do. For your Father up above is looking down in love, So be careful little hands what you do.
Oh be careful little feet where you go. Oh be careful little feet where you go. For your Father up above is looking down in love, So be careful little feet where you go.
Oh be careful little mouth what you say. Oh be careful little mouth what you say. For your Father up above is looking down in love, So be careful little mouth what you say.
As a family, talk about some ways that you are enticed to do the wrong things. Discuss what you might do when confronted with these real temptations.
What are some ways that we “consent” to the sinners that entice us?
What are some things you can do to avoid consenting to enticers?
Who are some people that can help you?