I'm Still Tempted
I accepted Christ last fall. The day I did, I made the commitment to stop lusting, swearing, and lying. I realize these things are sins, but the temptation is too powerful. I haven't been able to stop. I want to return to Jesus, but I feel overwhelmed by this sinning. What can I do?
The Bible is very clear that when you were saved you became a brand new person (2 Corinthians 5:17). But, that does not mean you won't struggle with sin. Being saved doesn't mean you won't be tempted or won't sin. The difference is that now you have the Holy Spirit of God living within you to help you. And, you have the fellowship and teaching of your church.
James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (NIV). This means our job is to surrender ourselves completely to God and he'll help us with our temptations. First, we have to recognize that we need God's help and power to overcome these problems. Only with him can you conquer any sin. Second, with sins like you mention, we must develop an accountability relationship with someone who can provide grace, understanding and tough questions about your lying, swearing and lusting. Especially for matters like lust and masturbation, guys should find a guy who's mature in faith, and girls a mature Christian woman.
Pray for strength and do your best to get things that tempt you out of your life. Get rid of any pictures, magazines, movies and web links that hurt your stand to avoid lust. Watch out for movies and music with excessive swearing. And rely on God to help you. There is no problem too big for him.
Ignite says: If you struggle with lust and masturbation, you'll find helpful resources and accountability software at xxxchurch.com.
Jim is an author, longtime youth worker and founder of HomeWord, a group seeking to honor God through strong families.
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today/Ignite Your Faith magazine.
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