For those of us out there on a journey towards purity and freedom from certain addictions and sins, I wanted to take a short moment to encourage you in your walk.
There have been innumerable times, in my fight against pornography and lust, that I found myself being tempted to indulge in my drug of choice. In the times that I would refrain I would still feel the shame and guilt as if I lost and gave in. I never understood this, and it often led me to end up giving into the temptation after all. I figured that if I already feel this way then I must have already sinned and might as well continue. But this was all a lie, a lie to keep me broken and addicted.
The sin was my doing, but the lie was the enemy’s.
If it’s a lie that temptation is the same as sin then what is the truth?
The truth is, being tempted is not sin, and I should not be ashamed and guilty for being tempted. If temptation itself is sin, then Jesus was the worst kind of sinner.
Hebrews 4:15 says…
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus was tempted in all things? Yup!
Also, Jesus did not come to condemn you but to save you.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:17
So if our perfect savior can be tempted in all things and not be a sinner, then we also are not automatically sinning when we are being tempted.
The trick to all of this though is not giving into it, instead we must claim the truth in those moments of temptation.
And the truth is…
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” – Romans 6:6
“in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Next time you are being tempted, remember and claim these truths and reject the lies.
Please, share and discuss your thoughts in the comments below.