Secrets of self-control (6)
Avoid the things that tempt you. Stay away from situations that weaken your self-control. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to ‘lead us not into temptation’ (Matthew 6:13 NIV) – in other words, we’re asking Him to help us avoid being tempted (He wouldn’t deliberately put temptation in our way). But we also have to take some responsibility ourselves, by avoiding, or limiting those opportunities to be tempted. So, what do you need to avoid? Whenever you can, plan in advance to keep away from situations that you know are going to cause temptation in your life. If you tend to buy things on impulse, avoid signing yourself up for loads of promotional emails offering you bargains that look too good to miss. It’s easier to eat more healthily if you don’t keep sweets and chocolate in your cupboard. If you find yourself struggling with pornography, do whatever you can to cut off your access to it. When we know we’re liable to be tempted to do something that goes against God’s will for us, it’s so much easier to resist that temptation when it isn’t right in front of us. Sometimes that might also mean we have to avoid certain people who seem to get us involved in situations where we’re liable to be tempted. The Bible says, ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV). Stay strong, and don’t allow other people to draw you into circumstances you know you should be avoiding. If you find yourself being tempted, pray this prayer: ‘Lord, I’m not strong enough to resist this temptation on my own. Please help me. Remind me of Your will, and help me fix my eyes on You.’
Think about what tempts you. What could you do right now to try and cut off your access to it?