Have you ever considered what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer? In the Good News recorded by Matthew, Jesus says this is how we should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.*
We’ve seen how the last sentence can be read as, “You don’t lead us into temptation but You deliver us from evil.”
Furthermore, James 1:14 tells us that it is our own evil desires that tempt us. If you are reading this, I’m going to assume you’re a human being and like all human beings you are tempted by your own evil desires. So what do we do when faced with temptation?
Are you familiar with the marshmallow experiment? It was a study on deferred gratification conducted with children in 1972. A marshmallow was offered to each child. If the child could resist eating the marshmallow, he was promised two instead of one. The scientists analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallow. Some of the kids gave in and ate the marshmallow right away. However, a number of others didn’t. How did these other children resist the temptation to eat their marshmallow?
Distraction, change of location, and they “bounced their eyes.”
You can use these same tools to fight temptation. Should you crash and burn, what do you do? Repent quickly – reconnect with God, make amends with others, then leave it behind.
These are good practical tools. And yet, they are not good enough.