My heart started to sink a little as I looked out the window at our bluebird house. Was that a snake skin hanging off the side of the roof? My fears were confirmed a few seconds later when I saw a snake’s head sticking out the door. There was nothing I could do except hope our baby birds had already fledged.
The next morning the snake was back. My Hubby had to pull it off the pole the house is on. “Just put him over here somewhere.” I like to have black snakes in the yard. I don’t know if it’s true or just an old wives’ tale, but I’ve always heard black snakes keep the venomous snakes away.
Anyway, my Hubby said he had to get the snake out of the yard or it would just keep going back to the bird house. I realized he was right – now that the snake knew there was a nest there, its would return to ‘the scene of the crime’ hoping for a tasty meal.
Isn’t that the way temptation works for us too? Whatever we’re being tempted by just seems to pull us in.
For some of us, the temptation may be unhealthy foods. Others may have trouble resisting that gorgeous new outfit or the newest smartphone. For some of us, it may just be the temptation to try to take shortcuts. Temptation comes in many forms.
Temptation is not your boss!
Remember when kids used to say “you’re not the boss of me”? Well, temptation is not the boss of you! Whatever our temptations might be, we don’t have to give in to them. The Bible tells us,
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
Did you notice that last line? “…When you are tempted, He will also provide a way out….” If, when we’re tempted, we will lean on God, He will give us a way out! Isn’t that wonderful to know?
Last week, we talked about whether God really cares about our health and wellness, and this verse seems to strengthen the evidence that He does.
Remember – wellness encompasses all of our being, not just our physical health. So if God cares enough about us to give us a way out of temptation, He certainly cares about our Spiritual wellness. And because we’re His children, He cares about the other dimensions of our wellness as well.
So how does God provide a way out for us?
There are a couple of ways God might provide a way out of temptation for us. First of all, we have the Spiritual weapons He’s equipped us with. But secondly, He’s given us the ability, as intelligent beings, to develop practical tactics.
When we’re dealing with temptation, whatever it is, we have two powerful weapons: prayer and Scripture memorization.
As believers, we can talk with God anytime, day or night. When we’re faced with temptation, we can pray for strength to overcome it. We don’t always think about praying about simple things like being able to resist that huge piece of chocolate cake, or being able to say no to spending money on a new outfit, but when we’re in close relationship with our Creator, we can ask for anything according to His will and He’ll answer us.
The second Spiritual weapon we have is Scripture memorization. When we memorize Scripture, at the moment we’re tempted, we can bring up verses from our memory that apply to our situation, and use it to strengthen our resolve.
In addition to Spiritual weapons, we can also develop practical tactics to help us deal with temptation. This is simply a matter of being aware of what types of things might tempt us and having a plan for dealing with them if they come up.
For example, in Good Foods Bad Foods Part 2, we talk about dealing with our red-light foods: The easiest way to deal with these types of food is not to have them in the house. That way, we’re not tempted to eat them when we get tired, hungry, or are just looking for a quick snack.
Not keeping those foods in the house is a practical tactic – if it’s not in the house, you won’t be so tempted to eat it.
We can develop tactics for dealing with temptation in any area of wellness. Of course, the best time to do this is before we’re tempted to do something that doesn’t support our wellbeing.
If you battle temptation you’re not alone.
It’s easy to feel tempted, especially when we’re trying to make wellness/lifestyle changes. Most of us have probably been there at one time or another. It seems like the things we’re most tempted by just keep trying to pull us back in. But we can fight temptation and win – we just have to reach out to the One who can equip us.
What have you found most helpful for you when it comes to dealing with temptation? Please share!