by Sammie Watson
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it."
-1 Corinthians 10:13-
Temptation doesn't always feel like a bad thing. Actually, it often feels really good—duh, that's why it's tempting! I think a lot of girls especially struggle with wanting to be around someone who gives them attention, no matter how bad that person could be for them. Attention feels really good, and a charming smile can be as hard to resist for a young woman as a piece of candy is for a kid. So, what on earth are we supposed to do when faced with temptation like this?
Step 1: Admit you have a problem.
No, seriously. I know it feels good. I know his smile is really nice and he told you you looked pretty and this feels like the first time that someone has really liked you in a long time, or maybe ever. I know you can think of a thousand reasons why he's great for you. But if you know that it wouldn't be pleasing God for you to be with this guy, then you have a problem. Admit it.
Step 2: Pray.
Am I being really cliche in this post? Well, I don't apologize. Do not expect to be able to resist temptation with your own strength—most of the time, it's simply not going to happen. Even if you could do it by yourself, what is the point in exhausting yourself that way? God is the one who will provide a way out (as the verse at the beginning of this post promises), so He will also show you the way out. Pray. It's going to be hard, but the Lord is your strength. Pray. Pray.
Step 3: Trust and Obey.
When I was younger, my mom used to tell me this a lot. I even wrote it in a really cool font one day on my sketch pad (when I was going through my "yeah I'm totally gonna be an artist one day" phase) and tacked it on my bedroom door. One day (after a certain incident when I hadn't trusted and obeyed her at all), she sat me down and explained how important it was for me to trust her and my dad, and to obey them even when I didn't understand. As I've grown up, I've realized how important it is to do the same in my relationship with God. Trust and obey. I'm not always going to understand. I'm not always going to want to trust that that guy isn't good for me—because let's face it, he knows all the right things to say. Trust God and obey what you know He's telling you. You will not regret it.
All of these steps have to be continuous. Don't stop praying just because you think you've prayed enough—because you haven't. Draw your strength from God and find your joy and worth in your walk with Him. Don't stop trusting just because it doesn't always feel good. Turning down temptation is one of the hardest things we have to do in this life, but Christ did it Himself and He will bring you through it. I am a living testimony of that fact, and I'm writing these words just as much to myself as to anyone else. But let me tell you this much: there are few things cooler than the power that God gives us through the Holy Spirit. We who have accepted the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ have also accepted the Holy Spirit, which gives us everything we need to resist temptation.
So there you go—admit you're being tempted, and that the temptation is not so great as it looks. Pray and draw your strength from God. Finally, trust and obey Him no matter what. You won't be sorry. I'm not.
"The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation."
What is tempting you right now, and what way out is God providing to you?
Sammie is a college student studying Journalism, saved by the grace of God and eternally grateful. She loves to sing and play the piano and guitar, and is blessed to be able to use those gifts to serve God by helping lead worship at her church. Her love for writing is a rather recent discovery, but she sure is glad she found it. She's a bit of a klutz and a total nerd, and is absolutely addicted to Starbucks. You can find her blogging at www.melodiouslife.com.