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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)

TITLE: Internal War
By Brenda Kern


"Should I?"

The concept had barely formed the question in her mind before the answer came, right on top of it.

"I want to. Oh, I really want to."

Problem. She knew she shouldn't.

She and God had had many discussions about this, yet here she was, once again, facing the same temptation.

"But it would be so good, I just know it!"

The old internal war had begun again.

"It would be different if I were somewhere else," she thought with a twinge. What does the Bible say? Flee? She hadn't fled. She had come here on purpose, knowing how many times she had failed before when she had placed herself at this juncture.

Memories of other times she had given in washed over her mind in a flood. Indeed, it was good--a hollow, temporary, guilt-laden kind of good. "Why can't I ever remember the aftermath? And this launches such a vicious cycle in me--why do I even dance with this danger for a moment?"

She thought of all the other people who didn't even have to think about fighting this desire--for them it wasn't an issue of right and wrong, just a normal part of life, a simple satisfaction. It wasn't fair! They can, and I can't!

She shut her eyes and imagined how sweet it would be...

This wasn't what God wanted for her life--she knew that through and through. She knew He wanted to be first; He wanted to be the One she ran to.

Maybe there was some way she could make up for it afterwards. Maybe she could strike a bargain with God!

Her thoughts were tumbling and stumbling all over each other now, and she felt her heart beat faster.

No one would see her and no one would know--she had chosen the place carefully.

Almost! She had actually begun to turn and leave, then the guy she had been waiting for looked her in the eye and asked what she wanted.

She purchased the pound of fudge and left the chocolate shop.

In the most shadowy corner of the parking garage, she ate--one bite of the sweet, followed by one bite of bitter shame.

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Lynda Lee Schab 01/24/05
I have to say I wondered from the beginning if the internal war was with food - a woman somehow knows these things! Our number one desire DOES tend to be chocolate! This was a great piece (your thinking fudge right now, aren't you? But I'm talking about your writing)
Loved it!
Blessings, Lynda
Very cute! I had a feeling it was gonna be food of some kind myself. But you did a good job trying to trick us. Good writing.
Debbie OConnor01/24/05
Great job! I know this battle too well. Loved the back and forth with your mind. I knew it was going to be food too, but it was still a great story.
Joyce Poet01/24/05
Ooooooooh... what temptation! That's just cruel! I've already had my chocolate for today! Eh... we'd do well to apply our knowledge of temptation to many areas of life... but chocolate is the best example! Sometimes, I am so jealous of my son. Can you believe he dislikes chocolate!? I know... he's just weird! I just pray all other temptations are so easy for him to pass up! He's 15... so far, so good. Praise the Lord!
Linda Germain 01/24/05
How many of us can identify with this internal war? Very well said. Makes me feel guilty just reading it! :0)
Dave Wagner01/24/05
I can't decide if this was supposed to be light-hearted and humorous at the end, or if it's supposed to be serious.

I understand the internal wrestling match, having walked those grounds before myself, and that part was well presented. But to associate chocolate with sin...is this a piece about gluttony? Is it to be understood that God has told the main character not to go to the chocolate shop, and her flesh is betraying her? Is the guilt really a necessary byproduct of failing to obey God, or is it an unnecessary byproduct of a woman failing to live up to her own unrealistic self-expectations?

Maybe it's just that I'm a guy and I don't understand...chocolate means nothing to me...and therein lies the problem...the assumption must be that I choose a substitute from my life that I can swap for chocolate and try to relate to the piece on a personal level. A reasonable assumption - except again, I can't tell whether this is a light-hearted piece or a serious one, so I don't know which area of my life to look for to locate that substitute.

Emough of that, sorry.

All things considered, the submission was well-crafted, and I thank you for submitting it. Food for thought, if you'll pardon the pun.
Brenda Kern 01/25/05
I get where the writer is going with this--that, for the character, eating this chocolate is a form of idolatry. Anything we put in God's rightful place in our lives could qualify!

For her, giving in to this temptation is just as wrong as participating in adultery would be wrong for anybody.

Chocolate as an object is neutral, and eating it, in and of itself, is not wrong. But USING chocolate to "make you feel better" is the kind of territory the writer (I assume a woman!) is talking about--especially if this is a long-engrained personal pattern.

I think the ending is deadly serious.
Deborah Anderson01/28/05
Uh...I just ate a Milky Way. Seriously though, I totally understood where you were going and ended up with this story. Good job. God bless you.