Temptation vs. Self-control

Robert, a recovered alcoholic of three-months is invited to a friend’s birthday party. His wife of ten years doesn’t want Robert to go to a party where there is going to be alcohol but he goes anyway. Heavy drinking is going on and people are offering him drinks. Robert desperately wants to find reasons for having a beer. He wants a drink, he needs a drink, and the more he thinks about the rush it will give him the more justifiable it sounds. He rationalizes how one beer won’t hurt. Robert gives in and has a beer. An hour later he is drunk. He stumbles to his car and prepares to drive home. Robert never made it home. The crash killed him instantly.

Angie, a recovered alcoholic of three-months is invited to go to a friend’s birthday party. She weighs the situation carefully because she’s only been sober three months and doesn’t know if she has the self-control to be around a bunch of her friends while they are drinking it up at a party. She decides that going to the party would put her at risk and decides to stay home and watch a good movie instead.

Running from a tempting situation is our first step on the way to victory!
Sin never leaves us permanently. Sometimes we’ll need to run from tempting situations so we’ll not be persuaded to sin. Running from sinful situations is a virtue of character. When we avoid those areas where satan has set his enticing traps we are using our self-control.

Running away is sometimes considered cowardly and your friends might ask why you don’t want to join in the fun. But wise people realize they need to avoid tempting situations at all costs. In fact when we remove our selves from the tempting areas in our life, we are behaving physically and spiritually courageous.

It takes a brave person to realize they do not need to continue with a particular sin anymore to be beautiful and productive people. They can be happier and more content without having sin become their master.

[Flee from the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.] 2 Timothy 2:22

Unfortunately, many folks who are enveloped within a particular sin have a difficult time letting it go because it feeds them physically, physiologically, and emotionally. I know this because I have been there at one time in my life.

Something is amiss for these individuals and they just haven’t figured out the right way to fix it! God knows what is wrong but they aren’t asking for God’s advice and wisdom. Instead they take matters into their own hands and feed their feelings of doubt, anger, bitterness, low self worth, resentment, hatred, jealousy, fear, anxiety, etc with their sin of choice. Basically, these folks will run to their sin as fast as they can to fix those destructive feelings. Temporarily they will feel better – maybe.

For three weeks, Veronica, who is married and has three young children has been asked out by her good-looking and charming boss. Lately her husband hasn’t been as affectionate and she lets her feelings tell her mind that her husband doesn’t love her anymore. Consequently she has an affair with her boss. Six months later, Veronica’s marriage ends in divorce and her boss dumped her and went back to his own wife.

For two weeks, Henry, who is married and has three young children has been asked out by his sexy and very rich boss. Henry is very tempted; Henry absolutely loves the attention, especially since his wife has been rejecting him lately. He weighs the situation for days. He decides that it is not right to cheat on his wife, marriage and children and decides to find out why his wife has been rejecting him. Case closed and no one gets hurt. Way to go Henry!

[…Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Proverbs 6:24-26

The world is full of sin and it’s not going anywhere. Fortunately we have choices, we can employ self-control and run from enticing and tempting situations or we can give in to it and remain under its control.

If we want to be spiritually healthy people and if we want a healthy and productive marriage, we cannot base our thoughts, actions and beliefs upon the culture of society. Individuals who are living under the control of their destructive emotions want you to sin with them. They cordially invite you everyday and everywhere to join in on all the fun. But what “seems” like so much fun is actually heading towards destruction of self. What is bringing them down will ultimately bring you down with them.

[No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues in sin has either seen him or knows him. Dear children do not let anyone lead you astray…] 1 John 3:6-7