8 Things to Help Avoid Temptation

As a human being, you are constantly faced with temptation to sin or do things you shouldn’t be doing. It’s natural to want to do something you’re not allowed to as it gives you tangible albeit short-lived benefits. Temptation is the urge to fall into sin and everyone faces it at some point in their lives. No matter how strong or how much resolve you have, you will have to deal with it.

You can avoid falling into sin by avoiding temptation altogether or developing mechanisms for dealing with it. Below are some tips on how to combat it when it happens.

How to Avoid Temptation

  1. Understand Your Weaknesses

We are all different and are tempted by some things more than others. What you struggle with is not necessarily what another person will struggle with. For example, you might have a problem with smoking while the next guy has never smoked a cigarette in their life and is never tempted to get one at any point in their life. Identify what you struggle with for a start before you can come up with a strategy to combat it. This is the first step towards avoiding temptation.

  1. Steer Clear of People and Situations

Now that you have identified your weaknesses, you need to identify the people and situations that make you vulnerable to your weaknesses. Do you have a friend who makes you fall into temptation when you’re together? Maybe you’re always drinking when you’re with them or they make you angry or jealous. Do you find yourself tempted to do something untoward whenever you visit a certain place? You should learn to cut off the people, things and places that get you into situations of temptation. This is key when you first learn how to avoid temptation.

  1. Set Goals

You’re not perfect, and that’s okay. You should avoid setting lofty goals like “I’ll never sin again”. This is setting yourself up for failure. You will sin again and again. So, instead of setting unachievable goals and beat yourself up for not achieving them, start setting more realistic goals. For example, if you have not been paying attention to your child because you’re too busy watching TV, then you need to set a goal to spend at least 1 hour a day with them. For grave sins like infidelity, you should have a zero-tolerance policy.

  1. Get Help

You can get help. You don’t need to fight alone. Ask for help from God or even another person who you trust and look up to. Turn to your pastor, counselor, clergyman, priest or family members, or a trusted friend.

  1. Keep Yourself Busy

Remember the saying “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”? It’s true. If you have nothing to do, you will always be tempted. For example, you are unlikely to watch porn if you’re always busy running errands. However, boredom is likely to lead you into watching porn or engaging in other vices.  If you’re struggling to get something to do, you can always volunteer at a local crisis center, homeless shelter or community outreach center. This would be the best use of your time and you’ll end up feeling more fulfilled than if you stayed home. This is how to avoid temptation.

  1. Be Persistent

You need to be persistent. You can bet the temptation won’t go away just because you managed to avoid it. Does it not surprise you that whenever you consciously fight temptation it always comes back stronger a few days later? For example, if you resist the temptation to eat some chocolate even after having sworn never to eat some, you will find yourself thinking about chocolate for the next few days. It will take time for the temptation to fade. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t give up. Keep up the fight.  The more persistent you are, the better chance you stand at beating the temptation.

  1. Repent and Ask for Forgiveness

You are not perfect, and you will fail to resist temptation at some point. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you do.  You are not pathetic or loathsome just because of an incident. Get back up, dust yourself off and move past your sins. Ask God for forgiveness. He always forgives.

  1. Study the Bible

The Bible is full of scripture, proverbs, and teachings that you can draw inspiration from when you’re feeling defeated by temptation. Romans 7:18 talks about temptation and the difficulty it brings into our lives. You can also get inspired by the key figures in the Bible who faced temptation starting from Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve committed the original sin after they were tempted into eating the forbidden fruit. Even King David fell into temptation and even went ahead and got a man killed so that he could take his wife. No matter what you’re struggling with, you are bound to find inspiring stories in the Bible to help you deal with it. That’s how to avoid temptation if you believe in God. 

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