If I’ve learned anything from watching comic book movies (and I’ve watched A LOT) its that superheros seem to always have a weakness. Superman has kryptonite, Ironman is limited by technology, the Hulk struggles to control his power, Dr. Strange has great hubris, and white noise severely effects Daredevil. While our weaknesses may be a little different, the reality is that we all have krytonites in our lives. We are all have things that tempt us into sin, draw us away from God, and keep us from being the masterpieces God has created us to be.
I have seen way too many great men of God have their lives and ministries torn apart because they gave into their kryptonite/temptation. When I was in seminary 15 years ago the pastor I was interning with was gracious enough to let me tag along to a big ministry conference in California. Many of the most prominent pastors in the country were speaking. Interestingly, fifteen years later, half of the keynote speakers at that conference are out of ministry because of personal scandals (not being “cancelled” but true moral failings). In several cases, churches that once had tens of thousands of members have ceased to existed. Innumerable pain ended up being caused because these pastors gave into temptation. I’ve seen this on a smaller scale too. I once had a recovering addict in my church that was doing a fantastic job reaching other addicts. On most Sundays there were two rows filled of his previously un-churched friends, and he even helped start a recovery ministry in our community. Unfortunately, he fell back into his addiction, his friends stopped coming, and the recovery ministry eventually fell by the wayside.
The number one way to deal with the kryptonites in your life is to identify them and to make a plan to resist them with God’s help. Kryptonites are those things that tempt you into sinning and/or not living the life God has created you to live. For many men the list includes lust, greed, pride, entitlement, and selfishness. I can’t count the number of marriages that have been destroyed by lust. I also can’t count the number of bad decisions I’ve seen people make because of their pride or greed. Once you have identified your kryptonites the Bible gives us a number of ways to guard against them.
- Be Careful and Pray: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38
- Endure Temptation with God’s help: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised. James 1:12
- Pursue Righteousness: So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 2:22
This week, I pray that you can identify the kryptonites in your life and begin following the Holy Spirit’s lead in replacing them with righteousness.