Emily tightly gripped the folded piece of paper in her hand as she sat down at her desk. Her history class was starting and the big mid-term test was haunting her. The teacher gave a few opening words for the day and then passed out the mid-terms to each student. Emily’s mouth went dry as she flipped her paper over and scanned the first ten questions. She slowly unfolded the small piece of paper in her hand while glancing around to make sure she was unnoticed. Her heart rate doubled and her palms started to sweat as her eyes scanned the secret paper.
One of her friends had handed it to her before class and said that using it would guarantee an A+ on the exam.
Emily had straight A’s in every class up to this point and was an honors student. History was her weakest subject and she wanted an A more than anything. She had never cheated on a test before and felt terrible for doing it. The temptation was extremely enticing though and caught Emily at a weak moment. She gave in to the temptation because she was more concerned about getting an A+ than honoring Christ and doing what she knew was right. Her heart was self-focused rather than Christ-focused.
Emily’s story is one that all of us can relate to. Enticing temptations are everywhere (every day) for the Christian guy and girl. We’re faced with the temptation to cheat, lie, steal, lust, get angry, worry, etc. You name it; the list goes on. Satan is a mastermind deceiver and knows exactly when to put that juicy apple in front of you. He knows how to make sin look delicious.
How do you handle the temptations that come into your life? Do you give in to them easily? Are you more concerned about your own pleasure and success than honoring Christ?
God made a promise to us in His Word that we will never be tempted by anything that is too hard to resist. I love this promise. He also promises to give us a way out of every temptation if we want it.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 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).
So practically speaking, how can we win against sinful temptations every day? The first step to overcoming temptations in our life is to recognize our tendency toward sin. We need to confess our weakness to God and pray for His strength to help us succeed in the future. Most of us struggle with certain areas more than others, so we need to work hard at recognizing our weaknesses and avoiding situations that make it easy to sin.
Another great way to battle a temptation is to memorize verses that remind you of God’s truths and promises. For example, if you’re tempted to worry about things, you could memorize Psalm 55:22 which says, “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Post the verses on your mirror, on your Facebook page, in your phone, and anywhere else you look. Keep them on your mind and heart at all times and use them as a weapon when Satan tempts you to sin.
Last of all, don’t fight the battles of temptation alone. Share your struggles with your parents, a trusted woman, or a wise friend.
Ask them to keep you accountable by checking up on how you’re doing periodically and praying for you. Secret sins are hard (almost impossible) to resist when they are kept a secret.
We’re all faced with temptations on a daily basis and have to choose just one of two things: Honor Christ and be victorious, or give in to our flesh and selfishness and sin against God. With God’s help, our diligence, and accountability with others, we all have the power to be victorious over every temptation. Even the most enticing ones. What will you do the next time you’re tempted?
Photo Credit: Karen and Louise Salling