“In resisting temptation, don’t allow the immediate results to confuse you. Think long-term.” —Charles R. Swindoll
When it comes to temptation, our culture offers little motivation to resist it. Yielding is much easier than resisting temptation, but for those who yield the path of life is strewn with the litter of remorse and shame.
Everyone, including Jesus, has faced temptation. And everyone, except Jesus, has yielded to it.
- Material temptation is the lust for things
- Personal temptation is the lust for status
- Sensual temptation is the lust for physical pleasure
In Genesis 39, Joseph provides a sterling example of one who could have cuddled lust and enjoyed its warm embrace but instead chose to resist its offer in favour of righteousness. If we wish to avoid such soul sickness, we must resist temptation. But how?
Joseph’s life gives us four important insights to help us say no when lust says yes.
- First, don’t be weakened by your situation
- Second, don’t be deceived by persuasion
- Third, don’t be gentle with your emotions
- Fourth, don’t be confused by the immediate results
When we face sensual temptation, we can’t reason with it. We can’t even stand there and quote Bible verses—all we can do is run! If we stay, we will probably give in.
Under what circumstances are you most vulnerable to sensual temptation? Do you make yourself accountable to people who can spot a lie and who will call you out on it?