The book of Proverbs is an amazing book packed with wisdom. They are pithy sayings that are easy to understand and apply to our daily lives. Proverbs chapter 7 warns young men against temptation. It is true to say that men and women face temptation in different ways and the book of Proverbs offers some good advice to us in avoiding temptation. Here are view basic principles for how we can say no to temptation.
1. Temptation is not a sin: We all face temptation on a daily basis. It is the yielding to temptation that is sinful and leads to destruction in our lives. Our sin can often damage other people’s lives as well. But the important point is that the temptation in itself is not the sin, it is the yielding that leads there.
2. Watch your mind: Proverbs says in v 25 “Do not let your heart (mind) turn to her ways.” Temptation starts in our mind and so we have to guard our thoughts. Don’t allow your thoughts to linger on an image that is harmful to your soul. Avoid reading or watching programs that infect your mind with sin.
3. Watch where your feet go: Verse 25 of Proverbs 7 goes on to say, “or stray into her paths.” Watch the places you go. Make sure you don’t go straying down paths that you know will lead to unwholesome living. When Joseph faced temptation in Genesis chapter 39 the Bible says that he “fled” from it. Run with all your might from sin.
4. Never think you are strong enough: Verse 26 says, “Many are the victims she has brought down.” How many people think they are strong and will never fail in an area of their lives? No! We have to acknowledge our humanity and realize that we can also become victims of temptation by yielding to it.
5. Never underestimate the power of sin: Sin is sin! We need to call it by name. Verse 27 says, “Her house is a highway to the grave, leading to the chambers of death.” Sin is potent and its ultimate grip on your life can be destructive indeed.
6. You do not have to resist temptation in your own strength: Hebrews 2: 18 says, “Because he himself (Jesus) suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Jesus is right there to help us in our moment of temptation. The problem is, that often times, the temptation is so enticing we don’t want to resist it. If we are earnest Christ followers we will want to live lives that honor God. To do that means we must resist temptation and call on God in our moment of need. Resisting temptation means keeping our lives free of sin.
We live in a challenging world and are confronted with sinful images and temptation on a daily basis. The only way to live honorable lives is to guard our hearts and our minds. Ensure you do not fill your mind with unwholesomeness. Don’t expose your eyes to images that will harm your soul. If you are tempted Jesus is right there to help you. My advice would be to also call a trusted friend to pray with you. It is important to make yourself accountable to someone who can stand with you and help you to resist temptation. 2 Peter 1: 3 says that God’s Divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. My prayer is that you will know His strength to live this day in a way that honors the God you love.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,