"Such As Is Common to Man"

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

When Satan tempts us to sin, we may try to convince ourselves that our temptation and our circumstances are somehow unique. That may drive us to despair: No one understands; no one can help me. Or it may drive us to self-justification: My situation is so unusual, so difficult, God can’t possibly expect me to do what He says.

Not so, says the apostle Paul. All the temptations we face are “common to man” (lit., they are “human”). The point is not that it is “only human” to give in to temptation (as the common excuse runs). Rather, it is that (1) it is human to face temptation and (2) the temptations I experience are not unique to me; others have had similar struggles. (See verses 1-12: the temptations facing the Corinthian saints were the same ones that had faced Israel centuries before.)

Best of all, in Christ we have the assurance that “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (verse 13b). That avenue of escape is not always easy or pleasant, but it is always there. God is faithful to us; will we be faithful to Him?