As Christians, we are not immune to temptation, in fact we probably face it more and are more aware of it because of our faith. How we overcome it is something else entirely. How do we win over those sins that so easily beset us? We need the help of other believers, and we need to learn from the mistakes of others. These are a few tips and guidelines that can help out.
When i say this I’m not referring to the Motown singing sensations of the 60’s, I’m talking about the desire and urge to do things we know we shouldn’t do. Temptation comes in different shapes sizes and forms. It is something that is inescapable as a Christian, as a matter of fact temptation is more of an issue for you than anyone else. Whether we like it or not, and no matter how much we pray, we are not going to stop experiencing temptation.
Temptations are the tiny little treats that the devil tantalizes us with. Just like your best friend eating all your favorite meals right in front of you just when she knows you’ve gone on a diet or are fasting. There is no temptation that doesn’t have an element of enjoyment, fun or pleasure, if they weren’t they wouldn’t be temptations and we wouldn’t desire them. Temptation is the exposure to the possibility of committing sin. Temptation comes in different forms to different people largely based on personality, desires, past history and weaknesses.
To the girl that is “in love” with her boyfriend, it may be the temptation to have sex with him, “after all, they are in love, and it’s nobody’s business what they do behind closed doors”. He says to her “if you love me you’ll do this” and she feels like she’s letting him down if she doesn’t . They are going to get married eventually, so what difference does a ring make!, it’s what’s in their hearts, isn’t it? To the young man whose friends keep on telling him the experience of being high and he begins to think of binging on liquor and smoking weed.
To the young executive who has the chance to divert funds, After all ,he is overworked and under paid, nobody is going to miss the money, and who’s going to find out anyway?
Temptation in it’s self is not sin, it is the yielding to that temptation, that is sin. There is hope for us
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful , he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can take”.
God knows exactly how much you can take and he loves you too much to let you break. Now the question is, if yielding to temptation is sin, and God will not let me receive more than I can take , why does he let me get tempted in the first place? Well for one thing, if there was no temptation we would not be able to demonstrate our love & loyalty to Jesus, which gives glory to him. We should also have in mind that ,when we are tempted God has the end in sight at the beginning of the temptation.
I know it’s not easy especially in the world we live in today, where 90% of the music videos are a few steps away from porn, the radio and tv talk shows are talking about sex all the time. The most talked about comedies , are sex related, just take a look at; the American Pie installments, Knocked Up,Juno, Super Bad. Everything from body lotion ,cereal, chocolate and bottled water is sold using good looking sexy individuals to catch your attention. It’s an on going battle, especially in an ever liberal world, that you must continue to fight . There will always be a means of escape, an exit. The way of escape may come only once, and you must take it immediately. Take that chance to walk away, if necessary, running is recommended. Remember , Joseph bolted, when sexual temptation came his way. Don’t try to sit down and be cool when you know you are about to burn.
Christ also experienced temptation while he was fasting, he was weak and vulnerable, and the devil came to him with the three most powerful temptations that humans face Appetite, satisfaction,Wealth and Power, but Christ didn’t give in, like wise we shouldn’t.
So how does one
overcome temptation anyway?
Here’s a seven step plan
1. Firstly we should recognize it for what it is , and the possibility of it in your life. Never make the mistake of thinking that you are beyond yielding to a certain temptation.Some great men of God have fallen because they failed to guard themselves from temptation. David on the rooftop watching Bathsheba, Jimmy Swaggart and his secretary, men whom their legacy ,would have been flawless but for one action
2. Next pray that you do not fall prey to it. Nothing works like prayer
3.Submit to God and resist the devil
4. There are three sins we are to run away from
a. Idolatry(anything that takes exalts it self over God, could be the God of Me and do thing My way)
b. Immorality- Satisfying every sexual desire that beckons
c. Greed(buying stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have ,to impress people you don’t like)
5. Remove any forms of sin from around us(friends that put ideas into your head when telling you about how good they are getting it)
6. Control the kind of things we allow to enter our subconscious and our lives. Replace bad influences with good ones. Bad associations bring bad situations. That definitely means cutting off certain TVshows,movies, musical tastes.
We humans like to deceive ourselves about what we let into our consciousness, the music we listen to has a huge influence. Listening to songs that declare, “I am getting so hot, i want to take all my clothes off” and “i don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump and grind”, is not exactly healthy listening.
A few more things to ponder when it comes to the opposite sex:
Do not touch what you don’t have. When you see you are about to get caught in a compromising situation,don’t try and stay there and BE COOL, you have two feet,you know exactly what to do with them. Since you do not have an S emblazoned on your chest , it’s not going to be easy. So like a castle that has archers and a moat full of piranha’s , a draw bridge, create every form of barrier possible between you and temptation, and you should be all right. Instead of watching what would make your loins run and frustrated, watch shows that would lift and edify your spirit.