Tempting vs. testing

Doc Holladay
Bible Snacks
Published in
8 min readApr 28, 2024

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The easy to understand difference

There are two concepts in the Bible that are often confused with each other — that is being tested and being tempted. What’s an easy way to understand the difference? Let’s start with the concept of being tested.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ 1 Peter 1:6–7 (NKJV)

The word “tested” here means to examine whether a thing is genuine or not. In this example the question would be “is your faith genuine?”. The question is about building something that is good and testing if it’s authentic. How is the faith tested? By various trials that might cause you to be distressed and pressure applied. What’s the result of all of this? To see if the faith is genuine when pressed, and that it would be found to praise, honor, and glory Christ when he returns. All of this ends in something positive and good. And here is the pattern.

For testing, what’s most critical to understand is God is always building something good in you, and he will test how solid that thing really is as he’s building it. It’s like building a bridge one plank at a time. You drop supporting beams across the water, then add one plank to it. You step on that plank and test if it holds your weight. When it does, you add another, then test if that…

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Doc Holladay
Bible Snacks

I write about matters of the heart and Bible topics that bring authentic life changes.