"A temptation is an opportunity to accomplish a good thing in a bad way." (Warren Wiersbe, Be Basic)
I threw out the definition then went on to apply it to the text. I didn't make it that far for several minutes. And that's ok. Sometimes we need to park a minute to make sure people understand. I'm not sure we got there but we tried.
The sticking point was whether or not every temptation fits that definition. My first thought was about sexual temptation. God created humans for sexual intimacy. Sex is a good thing but rape and abuse, sex with a person other than your spouse, an overly aggressive pursuit of sex or the denying of sex to your spouse, and pornography are bad ways to express sexuality.
What about stealing? Wiersbe isn't saying that stealing is a good thing. Stealing is the bad way of acquiring things. We need things to live but stealing them or stealing to get them is wrong. We want things, too. If the desire leads to stealing or even coveting we have fallen to temptation.
The temptation Eve faced was to find her worth and value (which are good things) not in her relationship with God (a good way) but by a disobedient shortcut (a bad way).
Satan is crafty and he knows how to attack our weaknesses. It's not a sin to be tempted; the sin is to follow the temptation by choosing a bad way to get even a good thing.
So I wonder about the person who says they would steal to feed their children if they had to. I'll let you chew on that. Leave a comment.