Temptation is something we all face as Christians, no matter how long we have been following Christ. There are a few practical things, however, that we can do to grow stronger and smarter in our struggle against sin. We can learn how to avoid temptation by practicing these nine simple steps.
Time Required: A Lifetime
- Write down five (5) temptations or more you never want to give in to.
- Tape your list to the inside cover of your Bible, to your dresser or to the inside of your locker door. Just put it someplace where you’ll be reminded often of your commitment.
- Give a copy of your list to a trusted Christian friend. This person could be your youth pastor, the leader of your Bible study group or your best friend. Ask this person to keep you accountable by praying for you and by asking you regularly if you’re staying true to your commitment.
- Remember two important facts:
a) Merely being tempted isn’t a sin—even Jesus was tempted;
b) Temptation becomes sin only when we give in.
- Memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13: “You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptation” (Contemporary English Version). As you trust God and walk with Him, He will deliver you from your temptations. It’s a truth full of hope.
- Memorize more of God’s Word. Don’t stop with 1 Corinthians 10:13; make Scripture memory a priority in your Christian walk.
Remember: Jesus countered Satan’s tempting lies by throwing Scripture in his face (Matthew 4:1-10); we should be able to do the same thing. (See also Psalm 119:11.)
- Replace don’ts with do’s. God doesn’t simply say, “Don’t do that!” He always gives us something good to replace the bad.
Check this out: “You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
What does this mean? Let’s say you realize the lyrics of certain bands drag you down, so you decide to stop listening to those bands. Then replace those old tunes with some cool Christian alternatives. Or let’s say you decide to rid your life of “putdowns”; commit yourself to saying something positive about someone every day. For more practical help, see Ephesians 4:25-32 and Colossians 3:5-14.
- Stay away! The best way to avoid temptation is to not even get close to it. When it comes to avoiding sin, the Bible has one great word of advice: “Flee!” (See 1 Corinthians 6:18, 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22.) If you’re tempted by pornography, stay away from the magazine counter— and the Internet. If you’re tempted to drink, stay away from parties where there will be alcohol. If a certain group of friends drags your language into the gutter, don’t hang around those friends.
- Pray. Shortly before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation” (Luke 22:40). And in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructed us to ask God to keep us safe from temptation (Luke 11:4). Prayer is absolutely essential in our battle against temptation.
- Choose a Bible Reading Plan.
- Develop a Christian Friendship—Someone to Call When You’re Feeling Tempted.
What You Need:
- A Bible
- A Bible Reading Plan
- A Christian Friend
Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Let us know in the comments. God bless you!
Your sweetest Melody, ❤