It only takes one player to make a difference in the outcome of a game. My grandson’s basketball team played a school early in the season and won by about 30 points. When the time came to play the school again, the boys were confident they would win again – maybe a little bit too confident.

When the boys arrived at the school, they saw video cameramen from some local news stations. A 6’ 8” senior on the opposing team was going to score his 1,000th point. The last time our boys played his team, he had an injury; but this time he was ready to play. After watching him warm up for a few minutes, I knew he was worthy of all the media attention.

I told my grandson his team would have a tough game ahead of them, but he said they expected to be winning by 15 points at the end of the first quarter. You can’t win that way. At the end of the game, our team lost by 11 points. My grandson fouled out, and the 6’ 8” senior dominated. Pride cost our boys that game.

Pride will also cause us to lose the battle to temptation. When we don’t take temptation seriously, we will fall. Sin persuades people they will be happier by engaging in it than by staying away from it. Don’t fall for it. If you resist, you will become stronger; but if you yield, you will be left feeling empty.

The next time my grandson’s team played against the school which beat them, it was a much different outcome. They did everything they could not to get whipped twice. If you have lost the battle to temptation, make sure the outcome is different the next time by putting up safeguards for yourself – spend time with God, pray, keep yourself accountable to a trusted friend, and avoid the source of temptation. That’s the way to win.

Integrity on one side of our character is no voucher for integrity on another. We cannot tell how we should act if brought under temptations different from those we have hitherto experienced. This thought should keep us humble. We are sinners, but we do not know how great. He alone knows Who died for our sins. – John Henry Newman

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder