Every Christian faces temptation. Even Jesus was tempted! So how can you resist the urge to give in and stay strong?
Think of it this way: Did you ever play with a couple of magnets when you were a child? If you did, you’ll remember that the closer they got to each other, the harder it was to pull them apart.
Temptation is something like that. The more you dwell on it and the closer you let it get to you, the stronger its attraction will be. In fact, if you don’t look out, the time may come when it will be almost impossible to pull away from it. Don’t let that happen!
The first step you need to take is to flee from whatever is tempting you. Get as far from it as possible. The Apostle Paul told his young friend, Timothy, to “flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22).
Don’t entertain tempting thoughts. Avoid anything that fills your mind with sinful thoughts and fill it instead with good things by studying God’s Word and praying for His guidance.
Also remember that our thoughts are as important as our actions. In fact, Jesus had strong words for people who were outwardly righteous but inwardly corrupt. One reason is because our actions typically start with our thoughts. The Bible says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). Don’t entertain tempting thoughts. Avoid anything that fills your mind with sinful thoughts and fill it instead with good things by studying God’s Word and praying for His guidance.
Most of all, you need God’s help to fight this battle. If you have never done so, turn to Christ and ask Him to come into your life. Then ask Him to fill your heart with His love and power, and to crowd out whatever is wrong in your life. God has promised that “when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Ask Him to show you the way out—and then take it.