We're all human, and as such, each of us is subject to temptations. They come in many different packages, large and small. They can be subtle, almost imperceptible. Or they can be blatant and overwhelming. Regardless of how temptation is presented to you, it is up to you to decide whether to resist or to give in. If you give in, your resolve weakens, making it more difficult to resist the next time. But if you resist, you receive inner strength from God to overcome further temptations in the future. Here are just a few tips on how you can overcome temptation as it comes to you.
1. Reach out to God
The first step to avoiding and resisting temptation is building a relationship with God through prayer and studying his word. As we do this, we build an effective connection between us that, during our time of need, remains open. At the time when temptation comes, we will automatically reach out to him through prayer, or through repeating a memorized verse of scripture. He can then give us strength to do what is necessary to resist.
Remember that Jesus Christ was tempted so that he can know how to assist us when we are confronted with temptations. He can provide us with peace and an understanding of the eternal perspective of things.
2. Reach out to someone else
Another way to help you resist is to reach out to a friend or loved one. This can be as part of a prearranged accountability network or it can simply be a casual conversation. Either way, connecting with another person can help you get outside yourself and talk through some of the things you are feeling. You don't need to go into detail about your struggles, but simply talking to someone about your feelings can help you work through some of the reasons why you are being tempted. For example, you could be tired, lonely, angry, frustrated, bored, sad, or a number of other things. Find someone with whom you can share your feelings with, and don't be afraid to talk to them when you need it.
3. Reach out and serve
Giving in to temptation is to feed our pride and selfishness. As such, one remedy is to feed our humility and selflessness by serving. This can be as simple as doing something nice for a spouse or family member, or you can do something for your church or community. Since it may be difficult to think of service opportunities in the moment of temptation, make a list now that you can use when you are beginning to struggle. By putting others ahead of yourself, you simply don't have the time for temptation.
Temptation can come and go, but when it comes, it always targets our weaknesses. You may feel at times that there's not much you can do, but there is one simple solution and that's to reach out: to God, to an accountability partner, and to others. As you do this, you'll be strengthened in your willpower and your resolve to do what is right.