If you feel like you’re the only person to ever struggle with temptation, think again. Ever since the beginning of the human race, people have been losing the battle for self-control.

The Bible tells us about many flawed followers of God. Eve was the first person who said yes to temptation, and Adam soon followed, bringing a curse upon the earth (Genesis 3:1-7). Instead of saying no to his lust, David committed adultery with Bathsheba and suffered the horrible consequences for the rest of his life (2 Samuel 11:1-4).

After Delilah repeatedly pleaded and cried, Samson gave up the secret of his strength and suffered the loss of his eyes and freedom, and eventually his life (Judges 16:15-21). Before saying yes to temptation, we should ask ourselves the following questions:

What is the source of this offer? God never tempts us to do anything sinful or evil (James 1:13). Any desire that veers from truth and righteousness is from the devil. Instead of being carried away by the pleasure or benefits of the offer, we must focus on the Lord and remember what He thinks about it.

What are the requirements for this offer? Yielding to temptation requires that we lay down our convictions. Sin is always expensive because it costs us our honesty, purity, and integrity.

What are the consequences of this act? When temptation comes, we usually think only about the present, not the long-term consequences. But the satisfaction of the moment is never worth the pain and guilt that inevitably follows.

What is motivating me to do this act? Fear of rejection, losing a relationship, a loss of finances, a low self-image, coupled with pressure from others, often lead to making mistakes.

What has caused you to yield to temptation in the past? Learn to stand strong in God’s Word and defend yourself from the enemy’s attacks. You can courageously say no to temptation with help from the Holy Spirit through the power of the cross.

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Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Carthage.

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