So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:12, 13 HCSB
Father thank You for this day, a gift from You that I will not take for granted. Father lift me up in protection from temptations of the world. Show me how to avoid the trappings, undo things I naively overlooked, and walk without questioning my steps and having to look over my shoulder. Help me to abstain from those things that are displeasing to You. Help me to make decisions that first consider You and then my family. Help me to always put You first, family second, and my career third. Protect me Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Temptation is everywhere. If you call yourself a Christian you then have to know that abstinence is even more critical, and temptation will be more intense. You are constantly tempted to live life as a constant and celebrated sinner, believing that you are free to sin. You cannot sin freely and call yourself a believer and follower of Christ. When we sin we must stop, repent, and commit the sin no more. God only puts as much on us as He knows we can bear, while providing us doors and windows of opportunity to escape the temptation.
I have admitted numerous times that I have been struggling with the words that come from my mouth, at times using profanity ignorantly to convey a message. I say ignorantly because I know how not to use profanity, especially when in the company of my elders, believers, and those individuals who I’m trying to be on my best behavior with. So why use profane words when not in the presence of these people? If I know how to interchange words to express my frustration, disappointment, or pain, why should I ever curse? Every time I do I give in to temptation, and I prove myself to be a hypocrite.
Every time I make exceptions to God’s rules I am giving into temptation. Now think about your life.
Are you 100% faithful to your spouse? Do you engage in personal and intimate conversations, emails, text messages, posts, and letters with another person not your spouse? For those of you who want to parse words let me say this, are you involved in any communication with another person (not your spouse) that you would cringe or go crazy if evidence of this communication was shared with your spouse and the world? If you wouldn’t let your spouse read or listen to your communication with this other person(s) then you aren’t faithful, and thus have given into temptation. You also have shown the type of person you are and the type of Christian you are not.
You must make a choice to either end your affair and work on yourself and your marriage or end your marriage, but doing both leads to only one outcome for you, both in the short-term and for eternity.
Here’s a second example:
Do you drink alcohol? Wine, liquor, etc? Each time you drink how many glasses do you have that day? How many glasses do you have per week? The occasional glass of wine is one thing. Slamming back several glasses in one day has placed you in a separate category. Several glasses more than one time a week has placed you in yet another category. You call yourself a Christian but would you want a video of your drinking activities shared with church members, your employer, neighbors, and family members?
Here’s another example:
Do you party hard and/or act a fool Monday through Saturday and then have the audacity to post gospel videos, songs, and scriptures on Sunday and random days through the week? What message does that send to others who see you partying hard and acting a fool?
How you conduct yourself says everything about how you are, and it tells everyone the type of Christian you are versus the one you want the world to believe.
Here’s one final example:
If you have a problem with your body weight or health, do you engage in healthy lifestyle choices to correct your issues, or do you continue eating the same junk and processed poisons that are slowly killing your body and/or making you gain weight? Do you workout three or more days per week or do you make excuses for why you can’t workout but you can sit on the sofa watching tv, sit at your computer surfing the Internet, drive to your favorite coffee shop or fast food restaurant? You can fight this temptation.
As I’ve gone farther and deeper in my walk with the Lord I have seen the parts of me that I don’t want to keep. I have seen the areas of my life that were plagued by temptation. Times when I chased the money that came from a business deal, when I should have focused on something else. I can recall the relationships that I entered because a man was attractive and had a nice personality, but was so insecure that he could never be my “king”. I had given into temptation. I can recall instances of engaging in gossip or someone’s negative speech and watching my energy level plummet and my time slip away. I gave in to temptation. So I pray that He molds these things out of me, and molds into me those things that He desires.
We all have choices. We have the choice to stop, pray, and think before we make decisions. We also have the choice to run and jump right into a situation. But with those choices come consequences. So it is not acceptable to just walk around and say, “I’m a sinner” and think it’s okay to give in to temptation and sin, thinking that God is just sitting back waiting around to forgive you. Yes, we have all sinned, but do you continue repeating those sins and jumping into more, or do you work at abstaining and resisting temptation every single day?
Trust and believe that God has provided opportunities for you to avoid and get out of tempting situations.
Love your sister in Christ,
Copyright 2013. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.