“Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor 10: 12-13)
Two things the Apostle is warning us about here, whether we find ourselves in “good” times, during which we might feel that we “stand” quite tall, or whether we’re having “bad” times of some “temptation,” which is calling us to “fall” apart and away from our God-focused path to “salvation” (a “return to wholeness”). In the first, “good” case, he tells us not to make the worst of a “good” situation, by abandoning patience, faith and humility; and in the second, “bad” case, he reminds us to make the best of a “bad” situation, in patience, faith and humility.
So let me take it easy, and embrace the sober, “middle ground” of patience, faith and humility, – and not be a drama-queen, – whether I find myself in “good” times or “bad.” And by “drama-queen” I mean, in “good” times overdoing it somehow (by overspending, overeating, overtalking, or over-extending myself in some other way, for the sheer joy and strength I might feel in the moment); or in “bad” times overdramatizing my “temptation,” and forgetting that, after all, as the Apostle reminds me, “no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.”
So, “man up,” he says to me, and if you got one flat tire today, don’t slash the other three, but make the best, and not the worst, of your bad situation. Because God is unchangeably “faithful,” when the “others” in my life (be it people or things) are not. Let me take pause, and open my eyes and heart to His stabilizing presence today, that I may “see” the way He always provides, of “escape” from the potential excesses in my “good” or “bad” states, that I may do the next right thing today, amidst the ups and downs of my cross-carrying journey.