Let’s start with a children’s story. There’s a book called, Frog And Toad Together, in which Frog and Toad discover the terrible power of temptation.
Toad baked some cookies. “These cookies smell very good,” said Toad. He ate one. “And they taste even better,” he said. Toad ran to Frog’s house. “Frog, Frog,” cried Toad, “taste these cookies that I have made.”
Frog ate one of the cookies, “These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!” said Frog. Frog and Toad ate many cookies, one after another. “You know, Toad,” said Frog, with his mouth full, “I think we should stop eating. We will soon be sick.”
“You are right,” said Toad. “Let us eat one last cookie, and then we will stop.” Frog and Toad ate one last cookie. There were many cookies left in the bowl. “Frog,” said Toad, “let us eat one very last cookie, and then we will stop.” Frog and Toad ate one very last cookie. “We must stop eating!” cried Toad as he ate another.
“Yes,” said Frog, reaching for a cookie, “we need willpower.”
“What is willpower?” asked Toad.
“Willpower is trying hard not to do something you really want to do.”
“You mean like trying hard not to eat all these cookies?” asked Toad.
“Right,” said Frog. Frog put the cookies in a box.
“There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”
“But we can open the box,” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog. Frog tied some string around the box. “There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”
“But we can cut the string and open the box.” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog. Frog got a ladder. He put the box up on a high shelf. “There,” said Frog. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”
“But we can climb the ladder and take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box,” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog. Frog climbed the ladder and took the box down from the shelf. He cut the string and opened the box. Frog took the box outside. He shouted in a large, loud voice. “HEY, BIRDS, HERE ARE COOKIES!” Birds came from everywhere. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away.
“Now we have no more cookies to eat,” said Toad sadly. “Not even one.” “Yes,” said Frog, “but we have lots and lots of willpower.”
“You may keep it all, Frog,” said Toad. “I am going home now to bake a cake.” (Lobel).
All of us can relate to that story, because we all struggle with temptation. Temptation is, as we’ll learn in 1 Corinthians 10:12-14…