Can You Resist Temptation?
“DON’T even try!” says an advertisement. But we must try and keep on trying, because happiness and life depend very much on our ability to resist temptations.
Some petty temptations, if we were to succumb to them, would not appreciably affect our lives. But there are temptations that we must resist at all costs. Temptations to commit crimes and injury, temptations that lead to immorality and sins against God must all be thwarted, because they have far-reaching, disastrous results. To yield to them is to plunge oneself into despair, sorrow and even death. Penal institutions and the streets of the world are filled with miserable men and women who have succumbed to such temptations.
A Christian must also guard against the temptation of materialism, the love of pleasure, money and independence. These, too, lead to ruin.
Some persons say, “Not me. I will never yield to temptation.” The apostle’s counsel to such is: “Let him that thinks he has a firm position beware that he does not fall.” Eve was a perfect woman, still she succumbed to temptation. She allowed a false desire to tempt her. It was a small thing, but her disobedience brought disaster. Temptations usually have little beginnings but catastrophic endings. King David let the beauty of another man’s wife bring him to misery. Judas Iscariot loved money. Thirty pieces of silver tempted him to betray the Christ. Serious temptations all of these, but were they too great to bear? Paul answers: “No temptation has taken you except what is common to men. But God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.” Every one of our temptations can be endured, if we would but resist them.—1 Cor. 10:12, 13; Gen. 3:1-6; Jas. 1:13-15; 1 Tim. 6:9-12.
How can we resist temptations? Jesus Christ showed us how. When tempted by the Devil, Jesus always relied on God’s Word, the Bible, and appealed to God in prayer. Thus he was able to thwart all temptations brought against him. At the close of his earthly ministry Jesus said to his followers: “Keep on the watch and praying, that you may not enter into temptation.” So gain an accurate knowledge of God’s Word and rely on it as Jesus did, watch as Jesus did, pray as he did and you too will resist temptation and win the prize of life.—Matt. 26:41.