“No one will notice if you take one cookie.”
“But isn’t that a sin? Mom just told me not to. . .”
“Well, yes, of course it’s sin, but everyone sins. Think about that delicious cookie just waiting to be eaten! Besides, it’s not like she’ll ever find out.”
“No. I won’t do what you say.”
Ok, let’s face it. Most times, it’s not that easy to resist temptation. But preparing to say “no” ahead of time will help you in the long run.
WHAT ARE TEMPTATIONS?
Temptations- n. the act of being tempted, or something that tempts.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as when the cashier gives you too much change, and you know that you shouldn’t keep it, but you really want to. Other times, however, the temptation is bigger.
For instance, say you were at the pool with your friend, and she points to a wallet that was apparently dropped by someone and is just sitting there on the ground.
“Go get it!” She says.
“But it’s wrong.”
“So? No one’s around. They probably don’t know it’s gone anyway.”
“No. I won’t.”
“Do it, and I’ll help you get on the swim team.” She taunts.
It sounds easy to make the right choice, but when someone throws in a “do this and I’ll give you something you want”, (also known as a “quid pro quo”) it can make you question your choice. Now you want to do wrong, so you’ll get something good out of it.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
In the Garden of Eden, Eve was tempted to disobey God by the serpent. When she and Adam fell to temptations, their sin resulted in humanity’s sinful nature. “…Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12 KJV). Thus began the battle between good and evil in our lives.
“When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15 KJV). Now, let’s dive deeper into that. Lust is defined by The Funk and Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia Dictionary as “an overwhelming desire.” Conceived means “to get, have or to carry something”. When we insert those definitions into James 1:15, we have “When what you desire you get, it brings forth sin.”” In other words, it says “Don’t desire the things of your flesh, for when you get them, they bring sin, and sin brings death.” This is a good definition of temptation within the Bible.
Matthew gives us another major Biblical story about temptation. During Jesus’s fast in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him to eat. If you have ever fasted before, you know how hard it is to not eat. Food is a gift from God that we rely on to function, so you can probably imagine how Jesus felt, alone in the wilderness with an empty stomach. Then Satan swooped in saying, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:3 KJV). But Jesus told him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'” (Mathew 4:4 KJV). By leaning on and obeying the Word of God, Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations.
HOW DO YOU RESIST TEMPTATIONS?
Pray. Talk to God about the temptations in your life. He’ll be able to help you through them; but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. It’s hard to resist temptations, big or small, but asking for help from God will make it easier.
Check your Bible, or a Bible concordance, and see what they have to say about the temptation you’re facing. Chances are, it’ll help you. There is a reason God commands us to read His Word.
Also, you can try talking to a parent, or someone who is close to you, like a pastor, and talk to them about it. They can help you learn how to deny your flesh.
And always remember: With God on your side, nothing is impossible.
BUT THE GRASS LOOKS GREENER. . .
It always does. That’s how Satan works. He makes you want to disobey and not listen to what God says.
When temptation does happen, which it will, the best thing you can do is to get on your knees and pray.
I remember once, when I was alone in the house, I had the phone and was texting my best friend. My mom gave me a time limit and told me to put it away at that time but when that limit was up, I didn’t want to put it down.
“Just keep texting. She’ll never know.” The voice in my head said.
“No, I’m gonna put it away… right after I check something…” I told myself. Then I realized what I was doing. I was giving in! I was tempted to stay on it longer, and I was going to comply with that desire.
I put the phone down and left the room. And I was so glad I did.
My mom once told me that if I say “yes” to something, even if it seems tiny, it’ll make it a whole lot easier for you to say “yes” later on. But if I say “no”, and deny that voice, I’ll be stronger and be able to say “no” later on too. How true it is!
THE COURAGE TO SAY NO
Have I not Commanded you?
Be strong and of a good courage.
Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
It’s so hard to deny ourselves of something that we want but know is wrong! We want to be satisfied, and do what we want, but oftentimes, it is wrong.
Again, we must pray and ask God to give us the courage and strength to deny ourselves; to say no to temptations. ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ (Joshua 1:6, KJV).
The next time you are tempted to do something wrong, stop and ask yourself, “Would I do this if Jesus were standing right next to me?” Because He is, and He doesn’t want to see us go astray.
A CLOSING PRAYER
Father in Heaven,
Please help me to resist the temptations that surround me daily. Help me to deny my flesh, and to do what’s right in Your eyes. I don’t want to give in to Satan and let him win.
Please help me to say no to what’s wrong, and not be swayed by what others think, or what they will do to me. Give me the courage to stand for what’s right.
In Your Glorious Name,
What about you? Has there ever been a time when you were tempted to do something wrong, and you were able to stand strong?
Comment below, Roses, and let’s uplift each other!
About the Author
Deigan Marie is an aspiring young author, homeschooled by her amazing mom. She loves her family’s assortment of seven pets, including her own chicken and cat. She enjoys reading, writing, coffee, chocolate, and Jesus. She hopes to use her passion for words to bless young women and be a light.
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