One of the surest things in life is that we will be subjected to temptation. Is it a sin to be tempted? Nope. But it is a gateway to getting in serious trouble with God and our fellow human beings. There are so many kinds of temptation but it really falls into three types: Lust of the eyes, Lust of the Flesh and Pride of Life.
May I present some examples?
Lust of the eyes is when you look at a red Ferrari and you say I want that even though it will bankrupt your family. Lust of the Flesh is intense craving for the chocolate at the Ferrari dealership. Pride of Life is boastfully driving around in that red car with a “you should be jealous of me” attitude. Those are highly exaggerated example – but it helps drive the point.
The good thing is, there are ways to avoid temptation, and here’s a few of them:
If you know you will be tempted, avoid it. In driving for example, give way to speeding vehicles and avoid hogging the lane if your speed is 10 mph less than everyone else. Keep 5-10 car lengths away from the car in front of you. You’ll encounter less reckless drivers this way. If someone cuts you off, do not react in an offensive manner.
One of best ways to avoid temptation is to keep our distance. For example, if you tend to overeat chocolate, avoid going to the chocolate counter on the Ferrari dealership.
A Friend Indeed
The right friends can help you choose a good path in life. Friends that give you constructive criticism are real friends. Avoid “yes men (or women)” or those who kiss up to you because they want favors. Avoid friends or colleagues with bad habits so you don’t start emulating them.
I remember a pastor ask me someone once to go with him to a ministry in a foreign country. He said he just need someone to be around him for accountability. I thought that was a good technique in walking the straight and narrow path.
Avoid contact with people that seems to like trouble. Avoid obnoxious people that are legends in their own mind. Don’t think you can change bad people into good people because good people almost always turn bad instead.
Remove Alluring Things
If you have an object that may tempt you, get rid of it. Don’t worry about its cost. Having a clear conscience is better.
Be A Coward
Being a coward is good when it comes to temptation. By not acting on a bad decision, we tend to preserve the status quo and avoided hurt feelings for ourselves and others.
One of the ways to avoid impulsive buying or instant gratification is to sleep on a decision. Some people even use the “30-day” rule. If they want something, they wait 30 days. If they still need it (not “want” it), then they buy it.
This is the most powerful of all. God promised us that “you will not be tempted beyond your ability” (1 Corinthians 10:13). One of our favorite prayers states “and lead us not into temptation”. Temptation will be around – but we can flee from it.
I hope and pray that this post will be of help to all of you.