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Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to deal with temptation

How to deal with temptation? Here are a few thoughts on that subject.

What is temptation? I checked a few definitions, and didn't find them very helpful. (They were circular - temptation is being tempted.) So, I stipulate that temptation is a process or event that attracts you toward sin. I further stipulate that a sin is a deliberate disobedience of God.

So, how should we deal with temptation?
1) Avoid it. Stay away from situations, people, or things that you know are likely to cause you to be tempted. This requires that you can envision a temptation coming, and avoid it. There are temptations that you can't foresee, and temptations that you can't avoid. An example of a situation you couldn't avoid would be if you were in jail, or a hospital room, and the source of temptation was within the jail cell, or the room. It is often difficult to avoid temptations coming from within your family, on the job, or in a school class, or in your neighborhood.

2) Remember that God has promised deliverance: "No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (I Corinthians 10:13, WEB)

This requires, of course, that you want to be delivered.

3) Remember that temptation is not sin, and don't be defeated spiritually by temptation. James 1:12 says "Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him." (WEB) James indicates that enduring temptation, far from being a sign of God's punishment, may be a source of blessing. He also says, in the same chapter, "1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."

4) Do good things. If you are likely to be tempted because you don't have anything positive to do, find something good, or at least not bad, to do, housework, for example.

5) Trust in Christ. Hebrews 2:18 says "For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted."

6) And, of course, prayer should be part of each step listed! 

Thanks for reading. Avoid temptation!


i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

I tell our grown kids four words over and over "PLEASE LOVE JESUS PASSIOATELY!" For me, the best way to overcome temptation is be over-the-top in love with the Lord Who died that we might not choose to yield to temptation, for to yield to temptation is to sin and that's precisely what nailed Jesus to the Cross. (At least that's one right answer as to why He died.)I don't pretend to comprehend all the reasons why He died. But I am grateful that He did and that He now lives as THE WAY out of yielding to temptation. Let us pray one for the other.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Kerry i am.

That's the best "good thing" we can do.