Temptation is something that everyone faces; no matter what you believe. The definition of temptation is a desire to do something, especially something wrong. Notice that it is not the act of doing something wrong, just the desire. Temptation in itself is not sin. Every human being that has ever lived has been tempted; even Jesus! As long as we are living and breathing we will be tempted.
When temptation presents itself, we reach a crossroads. A decision must be made and an action displayed. This is where we find sin and discipline. The action that follows temptation can only be one of these two things; sin or discipline. This post today is about helping us as believers choose to be people of discipline instead of giving into temptation that causes sinful action.
4 points to help Christians overcome temptation:
1. Define the line of right and wrong in your life
In the world today right and wrong are becoming gray areas; even in Christianity. This is going to sound harsh, but if you are truly going to live for Jesus, you need to take the word of God for what it says, not pick out the parts you like. The bible is not like a box of assorted chocolates; you cannot just take small bites of everything, then only eat what you like. Following Jesus is all or nothing. If we do not know what the bible considers to be sin and we just plan to figure it out when we are presented with the temptation, we are going to fail every time. By having clear definition of right from wrong, we will be able to overcome temptation.
Related Post: Define the line in your life.
2. Avoid triggers points of temptation
Stop reading for a moment and think about that thing that always seems to be a temptation in your life… Now, take it a step further, what brings you to the point where you begin to be tempted? Example: Let’s say that I struggle with alcohol abuse. Instead of just going to bars and trying to fight the temptation of over drinking, what if I avoid the trigger point for the temptation altogether by not stepping into that bar in the first place? By doing this, I have already increased my chances of overcoming temptation drastically! If we know the triggers that lead us into places that we will be tempted and decide to avoid them; we will be far more successful in overcoming temptation. (This is a very practical point! We can all apply this in our lives.)
3. Intentionally have others hold you accountable
Accountability is one of the most important keys in any form of growth. The bible made it very clear that it is not good for people to be alone. Make sure that you open up to a couple of people that are closest to you who know your struggles. Make sure these are people that you can be completely open and honest with that will encourage you, not put you down when you tell them what you are tempted with. By having people in your life that you can be open and honest with in regards to your temptations and struggles; you will find that you are more successful in overcoming temptation just by remembering that they are there.
4. Understand what it means to fear God
God is our friend and our father; but He is also our King and Judge. While we are being tempted to sin, if we can refocus and think about how big God is and what He has done in our lives, we can always show self-discipline and avoid sin. Proverbs 16:6 says, “Through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.” Take time throughout your day to just think about God and how big He is. Pray continuously, no matter where you are. Remember how big He is. By growing in relationship with God, we become more and more like Him. As we become more like God, we will overcome temptation in our lives in a greater way.
My prayer today is that everyone who is reading this post will apply these points and become a more disciplined follower of Christ. My prayer for each of us is that we overcome the temptation and struggles in our lives in a more successful way than ever before! Remember, when faced with temptation a decision must be made and an action displayed. and the action that follows temptation can only be one of two things; sin or discipline.