God has given us a terrific challenge: Go down and live in that world, but don’t become worldly. It’s almost like saying, “Go play in the mud, but don’t get dirty.” God has sent us here, but He sent us to be a light to the world, to show our brothers and sisters that it’s possible to be surrounded by mud but choose not to wallow in it.
Some might say, “But I’m just not good at resisting temptation!” Fact is, no one is very good at it. If we were, we would never sin. But we are not alone. Perhaps you are not very good at resisting temptation, but Jesus is. He resisted and conquered every temptation He ever faced, and He is with you! So you don’t have to face temptation alone, and you never have. Just remember that He is with you, and when a temptation comes, imagine Him being right by your side, and you’ll immediately feel added strength and power.
“But . . .” someone might say, “I’m not worthy to have Him with me,” or “I’m too unclean to have Him with me.” Now, here’s where Satan inserts himself again. He wants you to think you must be perfect before you can invite and receive the Lord’s help, or you have to be perfect before He can love you, or you have to be perfect before He will hear your prayers. Satan’s very good at this one. In fact, some of you may be out there thinking, “Yeah, that’s exactly how it works.”
Behold, I say unto you, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Let’s try it this way: Do you have to be cured of a sickness before you call the doctor? Or do you have to be perfectly healthy before you call and make an appointment? Or does your compound fracture have to heal before you call the ambulance? No, that’s backwards. That’s what doctors and EMTs are for—to help sick people!
Well, then, what’s the Savior here for? To save people who need saving! On one occasion, Jesus was eating with publicans and sinners (and back then, to eat with someone meant that you accepted them and affirmed them). The scribes and Pharisees were shocked, and they asked why Jesus was eating with publicans and sinners. Jesus must have overheard, and He answered their question:
They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. (Matthew 9:12)