Everyone is tempted! That’s one thing all of us have in common!

The correct question isn’t – Are we tempted – but how does a person deal with temptation? Do you say YES and yield to the strong desire within or say NO and stand your ground?

The answer you give will affect your future in a variety of ways.

C. S. Lewis made these insightful observations about temptation: “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. That is an obvious lie. But only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... Christ, because He was the only Man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only Man who knows to the full what temptation means.”

According to the dictionary, temptation is the act of enticement with the purpose of causing you to do something wrong or unprofitable by promising something positive.

Temptation motivates you to do bad by promising you something good. According to the Bible, every temptation that seeks to entice and entrap mankind is designed for ignoble purposes. It is very important that we learn to say NO when temptation comes our way.

Adam and Eve were tempted to disobey God in the Garden of Eden and set up his and her own autonomy. Guess what? They yielded to the voice of temptation by saying YES and suffered long lasting ramifications. Their disobedience ultimately resulted in death and a whole lot of pain throughout their lives.

Yielding to temptation will cost you! It will distance you from God, distract you from the goal He has designed for you and erode away the very integrity of your lives.

An article in Discipleship Journal recorded a top-ten temptation list that affects most people. They were tempted to be greedy rather than giving; Selfish rather than selfless; Lazy and not productive; Apathetic rather than caring! And let’s not forget the temptation to take the easy road rather than the right road when things get difficult. Gluttony, envy, lying and sexual lust also ranked in the top ten.

What temptations are you facing right now? Have you been sober for a few months but things aren’t going so well and a drink sounds pretty good? Are you in a marriage that doesn’t seem to meet your needs and you’re tempted to seek out another relationship? Possibly you have been caught for doing something wrong and lying seems to be the best scenario.

Whatever the temptation you’re facing, please hear the good news that’s recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

“ … temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”

There is a way out for those who seek God’s best. Growth cannot happen without encountering temptation but if you are to succeed you must learn to stand your ground. The two-letter word NO may sound negative in our English vocabulary but it will produce positive, long-lasting results when used in connection with temptation. It will be the most positive thing you can say in the midst of any enticement to do wrong.

Pastor Tim Howard is the lead pastor at Koinonia Christian Fellowship. Any comments can be sent to: tim@kcfchurch.org.

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