“13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” – James 1:13
A few months ago we began a curriculum with the middle schools I work with that revolved around temptation. The series was kicked off by an individual we were hoping to train up in our ministry. There was a question about halfway through the lesson that asked the students “Where do temptations come from?” It shocked me when one of the students raised his hand and said “From God.” But, what was even more painful was that many around him agreed. I waited to see how the individual leading the discussion would handle the situation and he skirted around the uncomfortableness. There are sometimes in our lives where we are to correct incorrect theology and this was one of them.
We cannot blame God for the temptations in our lives. It is not God that tempts you to visit an inappropriate website. It is not God that tempts you to give in to an addiction. It is not God that gives you the idea to cheat on a test or paper. It is our selfish desires. It is our selfish desires to be in control. It is our selfish desires to experience physical pleasures. It is our selfish desires to be accepted that tempt us, not God.