Thrive: It Would Have Been Chocolate – Erin Robinson Hall

The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
—Matthew 4:1-7

For me, it would have been chocolate.

This moment of testing would begin and end with the Accuser showing up in my moment of deep, spiritual discernment and teasing me with candy. Hershey’s nuggets with toffee and almonds, to be exact. I do keep a secret bag of them hidden in my house for emergencies, you know. Satan would not have to go far to tempt me.

The words sound a lot like the words spoken to Jesus just a short time before: “You are. . .” The Accuser uses words of identity that seem to echo the name spoken over Jesus in baptism. But Satan twists the words from “beloved Son” to “Since you are the son of God.” There’s just enough of a twist to these words to make the temptations sound like they could make sense. Since you are God’s Son, turn some stones to bread, lord over all the earth’s kingdoms, just jump.

These temptations are tailor-made for Jesus. The Accuser’s words hold just enough truth that they tilt the truth towards the lie. Since you are the Son of God, why not?

The Accuser often reaches close to shape the lies that tempt us. There’s always a little truth in the whispers. If only chocolate was the only temptation I keep close by.

Since you have been running around all day, you don’t need to exercise.

Since you are great at handling the details, surely you could handle all of this on your own.

Since you don’t know what to say here, just be quiet.

Since you can’t do much to make a difference here, do nothing.

For me, the Accuser always reaches close. The temptations are for me because they make me nod a little, shrug, and say yes. When the truth, the yes that is said over my life again and again, is that I am, more than anything, God’s beloved.

May we hold close the truth that God speaks in our lives each day: Since you are my beloved, strengthened by my grace and called to such a time as this, let my love be at loose in this world through your messy, wonderful life.

Erin_Hall_c_xsmErin Robinson Hall holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia. She has served as minister of congregational life at Heritage Baptist Fellowship in Canton, Georgia, and for nine years taught in the public school systems of North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia. Erin is currently working on a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. She lives in Macon, Georgia, with her husband, Jake, and their almost-two-year-old son, Logan.

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  1. I love this. So true, Erin: temptations come tailor-made. Thanks for this great word today!

  2. This is such a good reminder to me today. One of your examples of temptation hit the nail on the head for me. Your concluding paragraph is such a good wrap up thought to remember! Thank you!

  3. Rachel Huston says

    Thank you for this, Erin. It’s a constant struggle for me to discern the lies of the Accuser and God’s truth for me. Thanks for reminding me that I am too am God’s beloved!

  4. Erin,
    Thanks for this great reminder that it is in the smallest ways that we choose to say no to the One who sustains us rather than Yes!

  5. Thanks for putting that in a way I have never thought of before. What I have used as excuses, now maybe I can see as Satan’s way of keeping me down.

  6. Allie Kilpatrick says

    Erin, it would be chocolate for me also!! But in addition, I think I may have just experienced over-kill on my part in relation to an incident in my church. The Sunday School Director told a female, experienced, consecrated teacher and her class that she could not teach the class because women cannot teach a class with men in it… In that case I could easily become part of the problem instead of the solution because it is so close to my heart and I wanted the situation resolved. With His help, I have “let go and let God have his wonderful way…..

    Thanks for your devotional.

  7. LeAnn Johns says

    What a timely word! Thanks for this reminder today? Printing it off and putting somewhere as a reminder and challenge from God: “let my love be at loose in this world through your messy, wonderful life.”

  8. Julie Merritt Lee says

    Erin, you’re rockin’ it in this piece. So many times in one day I forget my true identity as God’s beloved and act out of my small self. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Jayne Gammons says

    Thank you for this devotional. Jayne

  10. Thanks, Erin, for this timely reminder that we brush up against temptation every day. It is our responsibility, as Christians, to recognize Satan in a “candy wrapper.”

  11. Vicki Parker Medlin says

    Erin, this so applies to me. It is so easy to be…….(you can fill it in with busy, distracted, tired, etc.), that we forget our heavenly lineage. Thank you for this timely reminder.