Sometimes I wonder if God wants me to keep blogging because it’s so hard on my relationship with Him. The temptations to worship things other than Him are overwhelming. I was wondering about that this morning so I turned to James for help.
Usually James 1:2 is translated, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials.” But almost everywhere else in the Bible, that Greek word for trials (peirasmos) is translated temptation.
So I want to look at James 1 today in this light: Count it all joy when you encounter various temptations. A crazy thought.
Bible Study: The Temptations of Blogging
1. The Bible lists many different ways we can minister to others but some gifts are rewarded by our culture more than others. For example, the woman who brings casseroles to the sick will never find herself on the national “best helpers” list making millions of dollars. Do you think there’s more temptation when you’re involved in a ministry that could potentially be rewarded with money and fame? Why or why not?
2. The advantage of a helping the sick ministry is that everyone loves you and you’re rarely criticized. Do you think the possibility of being criticized in ministry brings up any new temptations? If so, what?
4. According to James 1:14, our temptations are fueled by lusts or intense desires. Circle any of the following desires you experience with platform building: approval, fame, money, security, greatness, fairness, respect, love, validation, comfort, the easy life, lack of conflict, acceptance/non-rejection.
5. Now go through the list and number them in order of how much you want them. If you’re struggling spiritually with platform building, you could work on the first one on your list rather than tackling all of them at once. I think this is what I’m going to start doing.
6. Often trials reveal our weaknesses in ways a carefree life doesn’t. Is the trial of platform building revealing any weaknesses in you? If so, what? When you look at your non-writing life, do you also see those weaknesses affecting other areas of your life? Explain.
7. Read James 1:2-5 and Hebrews 12:1-11. What are the possible benefits of the temptations you’re going through? List as many as possible.
8. Do you think some day you might look back on this trial and thank God that platform building was so difficult? What would you need to do to get the benefits of the temptations? (Hebrews 12:1-15)
9. The Greek word for endurance in James 1:3 is hupomeno, a compound word that literally means “to abide under.” God wants us to run to Him in the midst of temptation and to abide in Him and His Word. What would happen if you did that?
10. What is God saying to you through James 1:16-17?