James 1:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

James 1:14, NIV: "but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed."

James 1:14, ESV: "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire."

James 1:14, KJV: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."

James 1:14, NASB: "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust."

James 1:14, NLT: "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away."

James 1:14, CSB: "But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire."

What does James 1:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, James made it clear that God is not responsible for tempting us to move away from Him. Even when He allows great ordeals to come into our lives, we should never say He means to provoke us to disobey Him. God does not tempt anyone to do evil. Rather, He intends those struggles as opportunities to deepen our trust in Him.

There is no doubt that the temptation to despair exists. Especially in the midst of hard times, we feel the pull to disobey God, to be unfaithful, to move away from Him. Where does that temptation come from? Here James reveals the answer: The call is coming from inside our own house! In other words, we are lured away from God in the midst of trials by our own desires. On one level, we simply want to sin. Christians have been freed from slavery to sin (See Romans 6), but we haven't completely lost the taste for sin. The desire remains.

James tells us to own up to that desire to sin. We need to hold ourselves responsible. He wants to warn us that, on this side of eternity, our "old self" (Ephesians 4:22) is looking for an excuse to move back into sinfulness. Sometimes, we will use trials as that excuse to disobey God instead of to trust Him at a deeper level.

Verse 15 will reveal the consequences of taking our own bait to sin.