Every moment of resisting temptation is a victory

We can only take it moment by moment. It’s so true that “every moment of resisting temptation is a victory,” even if it’s just a few seconds at a time. Everyone is vulnerable to temptation, even adults. After all, temptation can take many forms.

Know your weaknesses. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. What areas do you need to protect yourself from? Anticipate temptation. Think of situations in which you are likely to face temptation. Mentally rehearse how you will resist if such a temptation occurs.

Strengthen your convictions. Avoid circumstances that will make the temptation harder to resist. Pray for help. Pray continually, so that you do not enter into temptation. The Bible says: “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but together with the temptation he will also give you the way out so that you can bear it.”​—1 Corinthians 10:13.

Many believe that it is a sin to be tempted. This is not true. The Bible declares, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect was tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Rather, it is a sin to give in to temptation. Shakespeare wrote: “It is one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.” Do not forget the glory that God has reserved for you. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, which God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

One weak act of commitment could spoil a lifetime of witness. Behind the cash register in a Cincinnati candle store is a large sign that reads, “There’s a very good reason this sign is here and you’re standing in front of it reading it. It’s here to keep you busy. Realize what annoying it can be to stand around doing nothing, trying to find someone to help you.

The strength to resist evil is best obtained through aggressive service. But it is better to be prepared in advance. A wise man examines the road for possible problems. At the very least, he plots an escape route. Millions nibble their way into sin because they don’t think about the future. This brings me nicely to the next point. Temptation is not a sin. Our disoriented emotions begin to respond to this desire with a feeling of hope: hope that maybe this time, even if we have been disappointed many times before, the oasis will quench our desire. Temptations threaten us with missing out on happiness or less misery.

We must ask ourselves what the mirage really promises. Sometimes just saying it out loud breaks its spell. Expect the mirage to be tempting. Do not let your passions be your dictators (Romans 6:12). Remember, emotions are indicators, not guides. They are indicative, not imperative. They must be directed, not directors. Being tempted is not a sin. Giving in to temptation is sin. Temptations are never really as strong as they feel.

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