Dr. Swisher,  How Can I Overcome Temptation, Theresa, Lima, Ohio  

Thanks for this question, Lisa.  Temptation is something all of us face.  The key is to recognize that fact and to be on guard to the myriad of ways temptation presents itself in our daily lives.  The good news is there are practical things we can do to grow stronger and smarter in our struggle to overcome sin. Here are a few helpful tips to overcome and conquer this issue:  

  1. Awareness is an advantage.  Expect temptation and be alert to daily challenges. The Disciple Peter put it this way “Be alert and of sober mind against the enemy….”  When we are aware of the possibility of temptation we can protect ourselves from stumbling into an issue.  
  2. Resist temptation with God’s Word.  Jesus overcame the devil’s temptations in the wilderness with the Word of God.  It worked for Him it will also work for us.  In Jesus’ case he intrinsically new the words to speak.  This is the only real effective way for us too.  That means we don’t wait to scour the Bible in times of crisis or temptation.  We start now by placing the Bible’s words of strength and hope in our hearts and minds now.  So we are ready when random and sometimes surprising temptations occur.   
  3. Find a trusted Christian friend that you can reach out to when tempted.  Twelve step programs have been great with this concept of having a sponsor to call when temptations arise to drink, take drugs, overeat, gamble, etc.  A fantastic untapped resource is to reach out to a friend to ask for help and strength.  
  4. Refocus your mind on all of the good things in your life now.  Emphasize the pleasant, the hopeful and the joy-filled aspects of your life experience at this moment.  We may all have daily challenges but we also have daily Blessings.  Psalm 147 reminds us, “Praise the Lord.  How good it is to sing praises to our God.”   We may not be strong enough to resist temptation on our own, but as we focus on God, He will inhabit our praises and give us power to resist and overcome temptation.  

Perhaps the biggest problem we face, Theresa in undergoing temptation is just how passive so many of us are.  We experience the allure of sin and like helpless sheep bumble our way into trap after trap.  Employ the steps above, be proactive, stay focused and be wise.  When you do before long you’ll notice the joy that comes from victory over the challenges and temptations of daily living.