I'm tempted! Now what?

Temptations come at us all the time in various forms—whether we're alone or with someone else or with a whole group of people. We're never really out of the woods in that sense. It's important to resist the temptations to do or say things that would not be good us. Only God knows the best things for us to say, see, do, etc. Yet we still find ourselves faced with having to make a decision in the moment, don't we?

Having a plan of action can help when you're standing at the crossroads of "do it" or "turn away". If you know that you're likely to get tempted by a certain thing, then it's always best to avoid it altogether. Seems simple enough, right? But life isn't always that simple.

What about when temptations can't be avoided, or if you have already found yourself inching closer to it? Is it too late? Should you go ahead with it anyway? When this happens, be ready with an alternate thing that you can do instead. Why have an alternate? If you just tell yourself "No!" then sit around and do nothing, the temptation is bound to creep up again to fill in the space. If you replace the temptation with another, healthier alternative, then you've beaten it!

Create a Plan of Action

What can you do to create a plan of action? There's a plan of action for that too: Know God and follow Him. He is your absolute best guide, and He won't lead you astray. Here's how you can get started:

  1. Read the Bible. That sounds really trite, but honestly, the Bible is God's personal love letter to us and a guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything Else. By reading His Word, we can learn more about His love, His justice, His mercy, and His plan. By doing that, we get to know Him better.

  2. Talk to God. The best way to get to know a person is by having conversations with him or her. It's the same with God. To know Him personally, we can pray to Him, asking Him to show His handiwork in our lives and and change us for the better. The Bible says that if we seek God, we will find Him (Matthew 7:7). And if we allow Him to, He will transform us into new people who can know what He wants for our lives (Romans 12:2).

  3. Get ready to change. Be willing to stop sinful ways, letting go of pride and selfishness. As God changes us, we will learn to develop the right attitudes that come from the Holy Spirit, who dwells in all Christians (Galatians 5:22-23; John 14:17). As we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, giving Him control over our lives, we will begin to trust that what He decides is best. "Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done" (Colossians 2:7).

  4. Act on those changes! If our trust in God is going to grow, we have to learn to step out in faith that He has chosen wisely for us. We have to move out of our comfy beanbags and take chances for Jesus' sake. If we believe God will take care of us for that day, then we're free to carry out His will, regardless of the consequences.

  5. Fight temptation with God. Whenever we face temptations, God will always provide a way out so that we will not be overwhelmed by it (1 Corinthians 10:13). But that doesn't mean He just whisks it away while we're running straight toward it. We need to be on the lookout for the way out, praise God when we find it, then run to the exit as fast as possible.

Yes, temptations are a part of life on this fallen world. But 1 Peter 1:7 says God will use trials to test our faith and to make us stronger Christians; we will be given much honor if we can stand strong and not waver. "Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news – the Good News about Christ" (Romans 10:17).


Writer/Editor: Catiana (Cat)

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She is known as "412teens" on the 412teens Discord. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not cooking, gardening, or practicing creativity, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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