Temptation is so difficult. I hate it. I really do.
We can overcome temptation though. I believe it. I really do.
1 Corinthians 10:13 is great to memorize:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
What this tells us is that:
1. We are not alone in our struggles.
2. God is faithful.
3. We will be able to survive making the right choice.
4. We always have a choice.
Verse 13 is helpful, indeed. But don't forget it's sidekick, verse 14:
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
Don't go anywhere near the things that tempt you. In fact, go the other way. Turn away from idols (objects of extreme devotion) and run toward God. Accept His help, His love and His grace.This is the ultimate "Way out."
A few other favorite tips:
*Trust and believe the verses above. Truly believing there is always a choice and I have the strength, through Christ, to make the right one is essential.
*Tell the Lord that I desire to overcome temptations, daily. This puts me in a position of humility and dependence.
*Look for patterns--what leads to temptation? Thought patterns, Social situations, certain emotions, etc. Awareness is the first step toward change.
*Draw a line at the root of temptations. Establish what I WILL NOT do before the situation arises. Ex: I will not even entertain the thought of having a snack after dinner or I will not even consider shopping for groceries while hungry. Do not even let the mental "should I or shouldn't I" conversation take place. Shut it down. We do this "line drawing" in many other areas of life (possibly without even realizing it) and should be able to apply the same principle here.
*Believe that I can begin again. Because I can. Often, quitting is the strongest temptation we face. Overcoming this temptation is the secret to success. Because if you never quit...