Temptation is the urge to sin and human beings are naturally inclined towards sin. Temptation is something that all Christians face, no matter how far we have been following Christ. God does not really promise that we will never be tempted, but that when we are, He is going to provide a way of escape. St. Paul tells us that “No temptation has taken over you that is not common to man.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Meanwhile, there are things that we need to do as Christians to avert unnecessary temptation. Accept that temptation is inevitable.
Let it be known to you that, no matter how hard you try. it’s not possible to live a life without temptations. We will always, at some points, feel a temptation to sin. Whether it’s as harmless or not, as the feeling to lie about our reason for being late to a meeting or as serious as the feeling to strike someone who has insulted you. It’s also inevitable that we will give in to this feeling at a certain point. Meanwhile, it is possible, by our efforts, to minimize the hold that temptation has over us. The fight against temptation is like swinging a lifelong war. Therefore, be prepared to celebrate your victories and to learn from your defeats.
Avoid situations that lead to sin.
Some people, places, and situations make the act to sin easy. Certain sins will not be possible without the right equipment, setting, or people. Ensure that you stay away from the things that lead you to sin. If you are a drug addict, stay out of the parts of town where the drugs are sold. If you’re frequently pushed by certain friends to commit acts of vandalism, don’t hang out with these kinds of friends.
Because by distancing yourself from the people and things connected with your sin, you’re putting an end to the opportunities for sin and giving yourself little chances to fail.
Temptations, sometimes, doesn’t just go away when you choose to resist it. Temptation persists. Most times the conscious decision to fight a temptation will even make the temptation temporarily stronger. If you choose to resist your temptation to gorge on chocolate, for instance, you may start getting cravings after a day or two without it. It takes time for temptations to fade but some never do. This does not mean that you are better off giving up! Fight your temptations tooth and nail. Don’t back out, even if you suffer setbacks or relapses. The more you fight persistently, the better chance you’ll have of beating your temptation.
There’s truth to this old saying “An Idle mind is the devil’s workshop” If you keep yourself occupied with good and virtuous work, you’ll have less time to yourself and thus less time where it’s likely you will feel the temptation to sin out of boredom. Commit yourself to your job or your studies by taking extra hours or signing up to be a tutor, do anything you can to occupy your time with activities that will help you draw closer to God, or that make you a healthier, richer, or better person.
Study The Word of God.
Christian scripture is filled with stories, teachings, and proverbs which we can draw upon any time we are trying to avoid our sinful temptations. The nature of sin and temptation is a frequent topic of discussion in the Bible. Jesus came over the devil’s temptations in the wilderness with the Word of God. If it worked for him, it will definitely work for us. And because Jesus was totally human, he is able to identify with our struggles and give us the exact help we need to resist temptation.
Many of the people in the Bible had serious struggles with temptation. Adam and Eve committed the first sin by falling into the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit. Reading the Bible can help us understand how such great men and women struggled and came over their temptation. It is also helpful to read God’s Word when you’re being tempted. But even better when you practice reading the Bible daily so that eventually when temptation comes, you must have had so much of it on the inside. Because if you read through your Bible regularly, you will have the full counsel of God at your doorstep. So when temptation comes kicking, all you will have to do is draw your weapon, aim, and fire.
You don’t need to fight your temptations all alone. There is no shame in asking for assistance from God or from another person. If you’re having a hard time avoiding your temptations, don’t hesitate to turn to a priest, counselor, or trusted friend. Accepting help is a strong, sensible thing to do and part of these peoples’ purpose is to help you when you are going through hard times.
Set reasonable goals for fighting temptation.
Your target when fighting temptation should take into account the fact that, as a human being, you’re incapable of perfection. Don’t set an unachievable goal, If you do, you’re setting yourself up for a big disappointment. Realize that you will inevitably sin again.
In everything, Remember to trust God even when being tempted.
Any time you’re struggling with temptation, God is pulling for you more than ever. God wants to see you succeed. God doesn’t want anything more than for you to overcome your temptation. So, if God puts you up in a test, don’t lose your trust in him. Instead, rise to the challenge. And when you eventually fall into temptation, don’t hesitate to go for confession and ask God for the forgiveness of sins.