Many people fall prey to the idea that just being tempted is a sin. I’ve even known people who are on the weight loss journey, but on purpose put themselves in what they know will be a tempting situation just to prove that they won’t be tempted.
Then, they wonder why they were tempted and why they gave in. If we have an issue with food, we are never immune to temptation. I am over 10 years into my lifestyle change journey. I’ve learned not to say that I am never tempted because when I say that, I can guarantee I will be tempted. Being tempted, though, isn’t a sin, but to give in is.
Passing the Test
In the past, any time I was tempted, I would have given in easily. I didn’t want a way of escape because I really wanted to eat that tempting dessert. God will provide a way out if we really truly have committed to Him to resist temptation and we want the way out.
1 Cor. 10:13 TPT says it this way: “We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust Him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.”
Each time we pass a test or make it through a temptation, it strengthens our ability to withstand the next temptation. We are building mental fortitude, physical strength and spiritual resolve to resist temptation. There is really nothing like the feeling of knowing you have been victorious over temptation. It’s almost like climbing one rung higher on the proverbial ladder.
In the past, I wouldn’t have taken God’s way out because I didn’t want it. These days, though, when I am tempted I look for God’s way of escape and I take it. One big deterrent to me not wanting to give in to temptation is that I ask God to remind me of what it was like when I was super morbidly obese. I never want to go back there again and I know giving in to temptation will take me right back there.
Why Did I Want to Give In?
Every time I find myself in a situation where I want to give in and God rescues me I ask Him, “Why was I ready to give in?” When I get the “why” that helps me avoid a similar situation in the future. I’m learning from my close calls and even from the times in the past when I have given in.
About a year ago I was tempted and really wanted to give in. God gave me the way of escape and I finally took it. But I asked Him why I was that close to giving in when it hadn’t happened in a long time?
God told me, “You began to be prideful about your ability to avoid temptation. You will never arrive at a place where you will never be tempted again. You are human. You will be tempted. Ask Me to help you and I will. Remember, you are never alone.”
Experience is the best teacher where temptation is concerned. Being able to say no to temptation is more about relying on the way of escape that God will always bring than mustering up our own willpower.
However, we also must understand that every temptation is a test. Will we turn to God for the strength we need to say no or will we let our own desires lead us to follow what the evil one desires for us? Never forget that Satan’s mission is to steal, kill and destroy our destinies, but the mission of Jesus is to give us life until it overflows, (John 10:10). We chose life every time we say no to temptation.
How to Avoid Giving In
Let me give you seven things you can do to help avoid giving in to temptation.
First, know your boundaries and limits and be living them out on a daily basis. If we are living out what God has shown us to do, when temptation comes we will know what the right choice is. If we haven’t predetermined the right choice in the moment of temptation, we will give in because we have not trained our brains to see the choice before us as wrong.
Second, have a healthy alternative available. If I am going to a party or event, I carry healthy protein bars in my purse or bring a healthy dish I can eat that others might enjoy as well.
Third, plan for temptation because it will happen. Be aware that the evil one never rests. He is always looking for a way to trip you up. He knew I had a hand in that pie and would want a taste. A taste isn’t bad for most people, but for me it is. I know one taste will lead to me eating the whole piece, then an entire pie and from there I shudder to think. It could be a trigger to send me back into full-blown sugar addiction.
Get Help From Others
Fourth, get help from others. Train those who care about you in how they can help you. Give them permission to stop you even if it embarrasses you. Let them know it is the best way they can show you love.
Teach your family or those you live with to prepare the environment for your success. I asked my family to not leave their desserts in the kitchen or in the refrigerator. Freezing them is fine because it takes time to thaw them out. It helps me not to see those items. To see them is to be tempted.
I also prepared my own environment by not buying sugar, flour or dessert mixes. If I don’t have it, I won’t use it. My family is good about putting things they purchase in a different location, such as a higher shelf where I never look.
Your loved ones really do want to help you, they just don’t know how to help you and eat what they want at the same time. So speak up and ask for what you need. Then they will be the world’s best dessert hiders.
Say No and Mean It
Fifth, don’t eat beyond your boundaries just to make someone else feel better. Saying, “No thank you,” and meaning it is a great witness. As we get healthy, people will be watching us. They want role models who live out their convictions. Please be the reason they get healthy. Don’t be the reason they slide deeper into the dark abyss of food addiction.
Sixth, submit what you put in your body to God. 1 Cor. 6:19 NLT says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
Where does God live while He’s here on this earth? In your body if you have accepted Christ as your savior. When we damage our bodies with unhealthy foods, we hinder the work of God on this earth because we are not available to answer God’s call.
Join A Group
Seventh, join a group of like-minded individuals headed in the same direction of changing their lifestyles and habits with God’s guidance. Those of us with food issues need encouragement and support through holidays, celebrations of all kinds, temptations, life’s difficulties and the ups and downs that everyday living throws at us. A group helped me on my journey.
After losing over 250 pounds, God called me to form a group and coach others how to live healthier lifestyles, In Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy, I teach weekly lessons on how to establish your own personal food plans, how to follow God on the healthy living journey, how to discover the root issues of our problems and so much more. I also answer questions and try both to challenge and inspire members to victory. I don’t focus on weight loss. I focus on healthy lifestyle change and learning how to follow God more specifically to do what He wants each of us to do.
No One-Size Fits All Diet
My journey will not be your journey. Even though I’ve coached people who were once at my weight or higher, each of us on our own journeys. This is why there is no one-size-fits-all diet. We usually see diets as a short-term fix for a long-term problem, but lifestyle change is allowing God to help us understand what transformation for life is all about.
We will be in the process of updating our membership site in the next month. So I will close the doors soon. Until then, the Overcomers Academy is still open and there is still a $20/month discount on the page. This may not last much longer. When you join at the current price as long as you are in the group, your price will not change.
So get in now before we close the door for remodeling! You can join by going to: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/overcomers-christian-weight-loss-academy.
I’ll see you in the group!
P.S. I’ve been sharing information about temptation on my podcast episodes starting with episode 55. Information relating to this post is shared on episode 57, “Are You Tempted.” I will still be talking about temptation through Christmas. To get links for the podcasts and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode go to: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/podcast.