I have told you this so that through me you may have peace. In the world you’ll have trouble, but be courageous—I’ve overcome the world!
John 16:33 ISV
Yes, trouble, tribulations, trials, tempests, and temptations all are to be expected in this world. It’s what I do when they show up that makes all the difference.
I’m part of a small accountability partnership with some brothers, in which we daily group-text a numerical status. It’s a simple scale of 1-5, with “1” being an absolute failure, a return to old ways. (Note, no one ever gets a “5.”)
I’d like to think that integrity and pride and desperation are enough to keep me from having to post a “1,” but they are not the only safeties I turn to “when I wanna one.”
Here are a few of them…
Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is not spiritual. I want to do what is good, but I don’t do it.
Romans 7:18 ERV
But first, it’s not “I,” the me this verse refers to. It’s my flesh, my physical body, this very breakable jar of clay. “I” am the spiritual part of me, my soul, and that me desires to be completely faithful.
Second, it’s not “I,” not me, myself, but the unseen enemy, the Great Liar and Deceiver, the tempter. Viewing it this way makes me want to fight, to resist more.
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV
Third, it’s not even “I” alone, it’s “we,” Me and the Holy Spirit dwelling within me.
And finally, it’s not even just the two of us, because my God is a Triune God: Maker, Fixer, and Helper. And me.
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 temptations.
1 Corinthians 10:13 CEV
Every addict and obsessive, compulsive “user” should know this verse by heart. Everyone faces struggle – maybe specific to each, but similar in that we all get it. Any strategy for escape is shareable.
Here are ten I just brainstormed, in the order they arrived.
- leave the house for almost anywhere
- go for a walk, take the dog for a walk
- grab my Bible and read
- get on my knees and pray, “my eyes completely fixed on [God]“
- carefully reflect on what I have been led to do in my past
- call or text a brother
- look at my yard, for motivation to work on Adventures in Downsizing
- look at Zillow
- worship music, hitting “shuffle” on the 400+ songs on mIphone, to receive a message from God (the quoted lyric is from The Hurt and the Healer – Mercy Me)
- think about my loved ones and how falling would be a betrayal of them
- “Remember those earlier days, after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.” Hebrews 10:32
That last one was a bonus.
Your turn, what are some ways you use to resist temptation?
All images from pxhere.com.