Monday, June 29, 2015

7 Steps to Escaping Temptation 
By Shelly Burke, Editor 

God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 
1 Corinthians 10:13

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Temptations are part of living in a world full of sin. However, we are not powerless in the face of temptation. While God doesn’t promise that we won’t be tempted, in this verse he does promise us a way out. However, we have to be active in resisting sin; God probably will not whisk you away to a safe place or cause an earthquake for distraction! 

Here are some ways to be active in preparing for temptation: 

1. Know your boundaries. Scripture gives us many absolute  boundaries; we are not to lie, steal, gossip, have sex outside of marriage, murder, or curse. When you have it in your mind that you will not do these things, based on God’s Word, you are much less likely to give in. 

2. Define your boundaries. Some boundaries are not absolute. Where limits are not specified in the Bible, determine your own limits. The Bible doesn’t forbid watching TV or listening to music or reading as long as it doesn’t lead us to sin, or distract us from Him. Ask God for discernment in choosing these activities. 

3. Avoid temptation. Do everything you can not to even be in a situation in which you’ll be tempted. Discuss limits if you are dating. Don’t be alone with a guy or girl if you’ll be tempted sexually. Avoid the breakroom at work if there is only negative talk and gossip among the people who are in there. 

4. Plan what you will do when you are in a tempting situation. Despite attempts to avoid temptation, at some point you will probably find yourself in a less-than-optimal situation. What will you do? Depending on the circumstances, you may choose to leave the situation quietly, speak up for your beliefs, or explain your beliefs. In some situations you might have to take dramatic action, like quitting a job in which you’re expected to lie or cheat. You might decide to stop hanging out with friends who cheat on their spouses. 

5. Pray. Ask God to give you the wisdom to know how to get out of the situation. Ask Him for the words to say and action to take. Ask Him to keep you strong. 

6. Role play with your kids. They face temptation too! Teach them at a young age what God’s Word says they should not do. Talk about copying homework, bullying other kids, stealing, sexual temptation, pornography, explicit books and movies, alcohol and drugs, playing violent video games, and so on. Define your limits (which are their limits too) and be firm in enforcing them. Talk about situations in which they might find themselves, and how they can “escape”. Discuss the importance of choosing friends with similar values. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”   Some parents have an agreement in which if the child calls and says “Can you pick me up?” or gives a code word, the parent will, without question, pick them up and remove them from the situation. Our kids could tell their friends, “If I do that my mom will ground me for six months!” because it was the truth!  

7. Remember—God forgives! We can all relate to the words of Paul in the book of Romans: “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19) God forgives, just for the asking, any and all of our sins. He provides a way of escape for us, but He also knows that in our sinful nature, we will still sin. And He forgives. 

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