You’re minding your own business when a delicious scent wafts in from the kitchen. Warm, sweet, cocoa-y goodness fills the air. Like a zombie, your feet blindly follow the smell until you see it: a pan full of chewy, chocolatey brownies. You reach out in a dreamlike state, but suddenly—
“Wait! They have to cool first!” You snap out of it long enough to see Mom set her pot holders on the counter and walk away.
Your eyes glaze back over. The smell of sweet cocoa now completely envelopes you, pulling you closer. You reach out in one quick movement, scoop up a handful, and shove the gooey chocolate into your mouth.
“Yeow! Pbth!” You spit out the molten lava. What looked and smelled like delicious- ness just scalded your hand and your tongue. You won’t taste anything for a week now! Much less brownies!
There’s nothing wrong with eating brownies. But sometimes temptation can cause us to “turn aside” or “stray,” as Solomon says, from the path we’re supposed to be on, from the wisdom we’ve been given. That’s why there are guidelines to follow, even with something so yummy. Don’t eat cocoa straight out of the container, because it’s bitter and dry. Don’t eat raw batter, because the eggs could make you sick. And you certainly want to wait until the brownies cool before digging in.
Today, the temptation is brownies. Tomorrow, it will be something else. The point isn’t in the temptation itself; it’s in how you respond. When Mom or God or Solomon gives you guidelines, sure, you can choose to ignore them. But accepting the guidance of those wiser than you will help to keep you on the path of wisdom, of safety, of a full and Godly life.
Thank You for the rules You’ve set in place to keep me safe. And thank You for all the wise counselors who remind me of those rules. Help me to be strong as I face temptation, whatever the temptation may be. And help me to practice turning away from temptation now so that when more difficult situations arise, I’ll be ready to face them with confidence. Thank You for sharing Your wisdom and Your strength. Amen.
Think of something you know how to do well: math problems or riding a bike or braid- ing hair. Write or draw step-by-step instructions, including any warnings for what not to do. What are the results if someone follows the directions? What are the results if they don’t? Try it out on a friend or family member and see how they do!