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UCB Word For You

Self-control

15 September 2021
‘Do not give in to sinful desires.’

Paul wrote: ‘Consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ…Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires…[or] let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God’ (v.11-13 NLT). There are so many things that can tempt us away from what’s really good for us. They’re often very appealing, but only temporarily satisfying. Author and Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll wrote: ‘Life on earth is really nothing more than a string of moments…And I don’t want my testimony for Jesus Christ to be shattered by a single moment of indulging my flesh. I don’t want one moment of rage or pride or lust to cast a shadow over a lifetime of walking with my Lord. Frankly, I fear that possibility. And do you know what? I want to fear that possibility. When I stop fearing it – I’m in grave danger.’ So how do we deal with our temptations? The only way is to make God’s Word our code of conduct and refuse to compromise. We should make Jesus our role model when it comes to resisting temptation. He said, ‘If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want’ (Matthew 16:24 NCV). It’s hard to deny ourselves things we want, but if we practise resisting the small temptations that we face every day, we’ll be much better prepared when a big temptation comes along.

What Now?

Is there a small temptation that you tend to face regularly (such as choosing between fruit or chocolate as a snack, or spending a few spare minutes with God or on social media)? Try making a conscious effort to choose the better option, so you can reach a point where the choice feels natural.

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