One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is, “I know what to do. I follow my plan for a while, but then temptation hits and I just can’t stop myself. Then I have to start all over.”
So if you’ve ever felt that way, you’re not alone. In fact, most of my clients have said that there is one particular food (or drink) that they just can’t say no to.
But is that True? Let’s take a look at the Word of God to find out. In this post I’ll share one of my favorite Scriptures on the topic, as well as 3 tips to manage temptation in your own life.
I love 1 Corinthians chapter 10 when I am battling temptation, particularly verses 12-14:
“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 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. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (ESV)
We could spend a lot of time on the context here, but since I don’t want to keep you all day long, we will just sum it up super fast. This letter was written to a church full of new believers that were having a hard time letting go of some of their old habits. I can definitely relate with that. How about you?
Temptation is a normal part of being human.
Temptation is simply the desire or inclination to do something that isn’t the right thing to do. Temptation itself is not a sin, nor does it mean something is wrong with you. It simply means you have a desire to do something you know you shouldn’t do.
Everyone is tempted.
Everyone. And no one is tempted more than everyone else. Your temptation, like mine, is normal. And you can endure it. Yes, you can! Even though it sometimes feels like you can’t, my Bible tells me it’s true, so you know it is!
There is a way out.
God, because He is loving and kind and faithful, has already provided a way out of the temptation.
So what can we do to handle temptation in a Biblical, God-honoring way?
Expect it to happen.
Verse 12 says that you should “take heed, lest he fall”. Expect temptation to come your way, especially when you think things are going well! We are never above temptation, so be on the lookout for it and have a plan in place for when it does. In a weight loss journey this may mean removing tempting foods from your house, or having an accountability partner, or looking at the menu before going to the restaurant. Knowing that it’s coming helps us prepare for it.
Stop making it bigger than it actually is.
How often have you said, “I just can’t say no to…”? This happens because we build the temptation up to be a big, hairy deal in our minds. We make it into a big scary monster that overpowers us and forces us to make bad decisions. This passage tells us that just isn’t true. In fact, our temptation is common. Like a common bug. It’s not the boss of you.
Look for the way out, then take it.
God has provided you a way out, but you have to look for it, then choose to take it. That is often the hardest part! But God has provided a door. I often pray that God will help me see the door, then give me the courage to take it, because let’s just be honest: temptation is only temptation if it’s something we want. I’m tempted by brownies because I like brownies. I want them. But I know that when I eat them, I feel bad, I get cranky, and I suddenly want all the sugar I can get my hands on. Even though I know that about them, I still want them, so they still tempt me. But my way out is to say no. I can say no.
You can say no.