27 Days Down! 13 Days to Go!
Today’s chapter focuses on tools you can use to resist and flee temptation. I love that the chapter reviews the idea that we all are tempted even Jesus was. As an extension of this the chapter shares ways and methods to resist and flee temptation. One of them being using the Word of God.
The Word & Jesus As Mood Killers
Actually, one of my favorite college/maintaining my abstinence stories ever involves using the Word to get out of a tempting situation. Basically, I was “hanging” with this guy I was interested in (Oh he was FINE AND SEXY Y’ALL! One of the sexist men I have ever seen in person…anyway) and we were doing “stuff,” lol. Basically, I wanted to do what we were doing and all, did I mention he was sexy, but I knew that deep down that I didn’t want to do this (classic short term v. long term internal argument). Well, long term won, Praise God, and I started citing the 23rd Psalm in my head…basically my mom’s Sunday school class had to memorize the psalm like my senior year in high school so I had memorized parts of it so that is what came to my mind at this moment, about four years later — this story took place during my senior year of college. Well after awhile, I guess he noticed that I wasn’t as into “it” as before and he asked what I was thinking about thinking I was gonna say something related to what we were doing. I basically said, “I’m thinking about Jesus.” Gotta love Jesus sometimes… great mood killer 🙂 Anyway, a half-memorized Word four years later saved me about four years of trouble, lol.
I share all this to say…take this tool and the others Rev. Warren shares in this chapter and use them; they work when you least expect them to.
Air Your Dirty Laundry…To a Trusted Person
So one of the tips shared on resisting temptation is to share what tempts you with a trusted person. Not your FB feed, not your Twitter feed or even your new more intimate G+ feed, a trusted person or a small group. The key to this tip is getting the reminder that you are not the only one who is dealing with temptation generally or the type of temptation that you are dealign with. Rev. Warren shares:
Satan wants you to think that your sin and temptation are unique so you must keep them a secret. The truth is, we’re all in the same boat. We all fight the same temptations, and “all of us have sinned.” Millions have felt what you’re feeling and have faced the same struggles you’re facing right now. The reason we hide our faults is pride. We want others to think we have everything “under control [Guilty].” The truth is, whatever you can’t talk about is already out of control in your life: problems with your finances, marriage, kids, thoughts, sexuality, secret habits, or anything else.
Finding a trusted friend or group is a way to keep everyone in “check” and supporting each other to become more like Christ and focused on the main thing instead of any given temptation. It also, takes the power away from the temptation because its no longer a secret that the devil can use to keep you away from people and God.
Don’t Argue with the Devil & Avoid Your Triggers
The basic idea here is is that once you have identified your temptation and put yourself around a person or group to hold you accountable in staying away from it you have to stay out of it. I already shared one way of staying out of temptation, using The Word/The Bible. Rev. Warren quickly shares the following on The Word v. Satan:
There is power in God’s Word, and Satan fears it. Don’t ever try to argue with the Devil. He’s better at arguing than you are, having thousands of years to practice. You can’t bluff Satan with logic or your opinion, but you can use the weapon that makes him tremble — the truth of God.
Once you find your tools, your weapons, and/or your Word to assist you in resisting your temptations a final step is avoidance. This would be similar to people that deal with addiction…once you get clean you don’t run into the first bar you see or go back to the street corner you scored whatever was your pleasure…you avoid these triggers.
Don’t carelessly place yourself in tempting situations. Avoid them. Remember that it is easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it. The Bible says, “Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence [1 Corinthians 10:12 MSG].”
Today’s Question to Consider is, “Who could I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistent temptation by praying for me?”
Many of my temptations are dormant, for now, but I do have someone at my church who is my age that I trust enough to be this person but I admit fear keeps me from doing it. I also have been better at asking two Elders at my church that I trust for extra prayer with certain things so I could definitely ask them but I don’t know if they would fall into the partner category per se as I see them more as superiors to me since they are older.