In my previous blog I likened advertising to “pie in the sky” because it offers fulfillment always in an ideal imaginary future. Not surprisingly, temptation works in the same way. Its power lies more in fantasy than in fulfillment. Its force is less in reality than in daydreams where the pursuit of emotional or material pleasures and possessions becomes an end in itself. Choices surrounding what we eat, or wear, or drive, where we live, how we please ourselves or where we take our vacations provide all the meaning of life. Yet the emptiness of temptation’s promise is exposed when our lives do not become more “meaningful” with the growing range and variety of our choices. Instead, a troubling sense of discontent, of unease, besets us and fuels a suspicion that all may be vanity and striving after wind.
Such discomfort is no accident. The only reality that fully satisfies the mortal soul exists in the non-material, spiritual realm, where there is a single choice – be reconciled to God, or not. It is only in the spiritual realm that we are able after reconciliation to God to experience the life of Jesus Christ and discover that it alone brings meaning to our life. When our souls are bound in the bundle of life with God, temptation loses its power, our purpose becomes clear, and deep peace is our daily portion.