The man who stands up against the winds knows far more about wind than the man who blows right over

Personal virtue and integrity were important to Anne Bradstreet. She put the issue this way, with characteristic plainness: “That town which thousands of enemies without hath not been able to take hath been delivered up by one traitor within, and that man which all the temptations of Satan without could not hurt hath been foiled by one lust within.”

Internal lusts are traitors, and must be guarded against diligently. Moreover, they present much more of a threat than any open adversaries outside. Thousands of the enemy outside may assail the walls in vain, while one treacherous citizen inside can secretly open a door, and all is undone…

Those who truly understand temptation are those who stand up against it. If temptation were to be compared to the force of gale winds, the man who stands up against them knows far more about wind than than the man who blows right over. The perfect example of this was the Lord Jesus–He understands temptation and sin far better than we do precisely because He never sinned. Sinning does not equip us to understand sinning.

Following the Lord, in a lesser way, those who are virtuous in this world understand the temptations to be unvirtuous far better than those who have succumbed to their temptations. The fellow lying on the ground thinks he knows all about the wind, but he does not.

–Doug Wilson, Beyond Stateliest Marble, pp. 193, 195.

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