The Challenge of Overcoming Temptation
Often, life puts us to the test. We go through a difficult time and find out whether we have emerged with our faith intact. A test measures how much we trust God.
Other times, we face temptation. A temptation is not the same as a test. In the Bible, the same Greek word translates as both "test" and "temptation". However, we understand them differently. A test comes from outside ourselves. A temptation comes from within. A temptation is a desire that, if we allow it to grow past a healthy level, will cause harm to ourselves and to the people around us.
What can we do to overcome temptation?
We can understand that God does not tempt us. The issue is not a hostile God who tries to trip us up. The issue is within us.
We can recognize that we have power over temptation. We have had a tendency, ever since the very first human beings lived, to feel helpless and blame others for our problems. We can responsibility for our temptations and how we deal with them. We are not victims. We are victors.
We win the battle over our temptations one step at a time. It is unrealistic and helpful to say, "Whatever it is that tempts me, I'm never going to do it again." Better to say, "Whatever it is, I'm not going to do it, today." One day leads to the next day. One good decision leads to another good decision. And in time, you find yourself to be someone who is in control of your life and not at the mercy of your temptations.
On Sunday morning, October 18, we are going to look at James 1:12-15, and talk about what it takes to overcome temptation.