The readings for this first Sunday in Lent are about temptation. Adam and Eve tempted in the garden by Satan; Jesus tempted in the desert by Satan. What does it take to resist temptation?
It’s easy to say, “The devil made me do it,” or “The fault lies with Satan.” It’s always easier to lay blame on someone or something else rather than take responsibility for our choices. Notice I use the word “choices” rather than “faults” or “shortcomings.”
I doubt if we fail God when we make a mistake or fall prey to temptation. What we do instead is fail ourselves by beating up on ourselves whenever “failure” enters our lives. It’s a tricky thing to admit to failure, admit to making a mistake, and NOT do the beating up. And it’s tricky to accept our failures and not fall into the same hole that always waits.
The middle ground is, perhaps, making choices. But even then it gets tricky. The same choice doesn’t always work in a different situation. In other words, there’s no easy answer.
But no one ever said following the path of the Christ is easy. We fall; get up; walk forward again; fall; and get up…again. Perhaps the getting up again part is the only answer.