“Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” -Francis of Assisi
Latin. It seems to seep into everything we say and learn. Classes use Latin as an example of historical linguistic, debaters quote random latin phrases to give it more emphasis.
Well this random Latin phrase I was recently introduced to, Paxt Et Bonum.
The time has come. Although some may not have noticed, I went on a short liaison mission where I simply did not post for a few days. During this time, I had originally planned to stay on top of my blog, however, life had other priorities. AAANNDDD, the hotel didn’t have free wifi. I know, awful right?
That short hiatus resulted primarily from the fact that I had traveled to Washington, D.C. In order to participate in a group known as CUFI. Christians United For Israel. Before I really go into anything that happened during the D.C. Summit as it was called, I need to tell you one thing.
Hotels. I kind of hate hotels at the moment. I spent the entire time at a Marriott. Don’t get me wrong, it was one of the nicest hotels I have ever had the opportunity of spending any amount of time in.
HOWEVER, that hotel totally rips people off. Allow me to explain. There are no water fountains in the hotel. None. Additionally, anyone who has spend any amount of time in D.C. knows that drinking the tap water could lead to more than one uncomfortable visits to the loo. Now, there were two water bottles on a platter with two glasses in front of them. They were 2-liter Fiji bottles, and it looked pretty promising.
What you don’t see is the glass sign behind them that says, “$6 a bottle”.
Yup. They made us pay six bucks per water bottle. That whole incident got me thinking. What if the things we see on the outside, those neon lights and big signs that look so appealing, are just the face in front of the sign that says, “this is what you will pay”? How often do we even think about the consequences of our actions? After all, the only thing occupying our minds is the big water bottle in the waterless hotel. It was set up to trap you.
But then, after we have already opened the bottle and had a few moments of fleeting happiness, then we see the sign. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my roommate about whether or not we should try to ‘borrow’ someone else water bottle and replace it with our own. In the end, I decided there was nothing we could do but admit that they had caught us. You know what? It felt much better to go tell the clerks in the lobby and pay then to try and fill up the bottle with tap water.
Little things like that can hang over you. A guilty conscience is nothing to sneeze at. When you have done something and you know in your heart that it was wrong, the Holy Spirit is going to gnaw at you and your sense of right and wrong will constantly bring it back to attention. We know when we did something wrong. We really do.
I mean, come on, even dogs do.
Heres the thing. Satan is never gonna let me off easy. Nope. Never. He does the exact same thing as the hotel, he sets you up for the ambush. Then, when we walk right into that temptation, it is so hard to say no. Believe me, I’ve experienced this, and somehow I think you have too.
The awesome thing is something totally different, we have someone bigger and better on our team. Not only do we have a fighting chance, but He has already won the battle!
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
But wait a minute. Sounds too good to be true, right?
That’s what I thought when I first heard this verse. Then I realized something. It’s not that we have the ability to endure these temptations, but with God on our side, we can endure anything!
A few days ago, I was really struggling with a temptation that occurs to me a lot. That moment, I literally said, out loud, “Help me God! I can’t do this alone!” After crying for help, God immediately took the temptation away. Then, later in the week, the same temptation came back. This time, I thought, “I got through it before, so I should be all right now.” I did not ask for help. Then I succumbed to that temptation.
It may be possible for us to resist temptation on our own, but it is not guaranteed. With God on our side, “Whom shall I fear?” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Without God, we are only our own nature, sin nature. In sin, we fall prey to every temptation Satan throws at us.
All of this brings me back to Latin. Paxt Et Bonum. It means peace. In the Bible, the word most commonly used for peace is Shalom, which means completeness, wholeness, wellness, and peace. I forgot to mention one thing: Paxt Et Bonum means peace, and salvation.
A pastor once said that Paxt Et Bonum was the summary of the whole gospel. The entire gospel points to the Prince of Peace, the ultimate officiator of our freedom, salvation, and peace.
Let me tell you, the key to winning over temptation is being empowered by the peace of God.
To get at peace? Simple.
Choose what God Chooses.
That is the way to beat temptation. Ask God for help. Pray. And maybe quote some Latin.
Be blessed today.