“There will always be temptations to sin,” Jesus said one day to his disciples, “but woe to the man who does the tempting.”
Temptation, we all face it in various forms, and Jesus tells us that this will always be so while we are on earth. But have you considered whether you are a “tempter?” Perhaps it is your words, or your actions, or how you dress. If you are a Christian, you’ll likely answer that you would never intentionally tempt someone else. But is this all there is to it?
Temptation is everywhere today. But long ago, the opposite was true. Modesty in all areas was expected, and even advertised–especially in clothing… Harper’s Magazine from 1868 published the drawing of a leg, showing where a girl’s hem should fall based on her age. By the time she was sixteen, it was below the rim of her mid-calf boots! Men’s swimsuits of the era consisted of long shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Men and women never went swimming together, and there were “bathing machines,” wooden shed-like enclosures, in which women were allowed to wade into the ocean for a swim. No modest young lady would be seen on the beach in anything other than her daily attire.
Sadly, times have changed! The challenge today is to go against what is all around us. The world is full of tempters in the form of habits, desires, and even people. The bible is clear about what this brings. “Ruinous trouble, calamity, affliction. (woe) Being a tempter brings harm not only to one’s self, but also to others.
As Christians, we must always be mindful of this warning in Luke, and be aware not only of the temptations that present themselves to us, but of how we are presenting ourselves to the world around us through actions, words, and dress. All we really miss out on is ruinous trouble, calamity, and affliction!