This week marks the beginning of our Lent series called “Fearless: The Courage to Question,” and the question before our lessons this week is “What is the best way to resist temptation?” This is an incredible question for me to ponder because it is not something I have sat and spent time thinking about. I see temptation all around, but I haven’t stepped back and thought about the best ways to avoid it.
Temptation is something that we all have to deal with, the thing that is unique about temptation is that each of us is tempted in unique ways. Some are tempted by food, some by the flesh, and still others by things unknown to you or I. Often when I think of temptation I also think of those who succumb to addiction, those who are battling drug or alcohol addiction.
There are things in our lives that are so seductive to our minds that we have to fight with every fiber of our being. There are things unique to each of us that take our full and undivided attention to truly resist. How we deal with our temptations speaks a lot to who we truly are in the most basic sense. If we are all honest with ourselves we will see that we are all more alike than we often like to admit. There is a very fine line between healthy equilibrium and addiction, and how we recognize and/or deal with those distinctions the speak to our character.
Being in ministry I hear so many stories of people that begin with right motives only later to fall, usually in spectacular ways. From Pastors to Youth Ministers I see stories of these incredible lapses of judgment and I often wonder how this happens. How can someone who dedicates their lives to Christ end up being in such un-Christlike circumstances. I think the most basic thing is this, we often begin with blurring a line once or twice until we have eventually decimated the boundaries we have set for ourselves.
Temptation for many is a failure of or an ignoring of boundaries. How can we define our boundaries so that we can resist temptation when it comes? How do we make sure that the main thing stays the main thing in our lives, and not succumb to the seductive other side of our lives?