Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 7:16
"I have spread my couch with coverings with colored linens of Egypt"
The strongest sexual organ in the human body is the mind, and the adulteress uses this organ to draw the hesitant person into her web. She can put you there before you actually decide to violate your marriage vows. If she can get you to accept her three-dimensional picture of extreme sexual pleasure with no consequences, she has already gotten you to give in before you have even decided to sin.
This is the way that the strongest forms of temptation work – whether it is pride, envy, anger, lust, sloth, gluttony, or greed. You are seduced into mentally enjoying the sin long before you ever commit the actual sinful act. It is in your mind that you must say no. Unfortunately, our culture says that you can say yes in your mind as long as you say no in reality. In order to really win against temptation, you must say no to enjoying the sin mentally. You must not allow yourself, someone else, the Devil, or the world to paint a mental picture of you enjoying a sinful moment in your mind.
We need to say no to these mental pictures and pursue righteousness. It is crucial that we do not linger over the sinful choice but move away from it mentally and physically. Pursuing righteousness means that we are seeking to benefit someone else in our life from within the boundaries of the Ten Commandments. Since sin at its core is selfishness, then righteousness is the opposite – the benefit of others.
The way to beat back temptation of any sort is to listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit as to what positive act of love and benefit does He want you to do instead of the selfishness that is presenting itself to you.
Solomon shows us, in this section of Proverbs, the techniques of an adulteress to trap her hesitant subject into her web of foolishness. He is also saying – to those who will listen – that you must be ready to exercise mental discipline and positive righteousness. Are you ready to say no today to the sins that so easily entangle you, and yes to the opportunities for good that will present themselves today?