Summary: In order to be happy, we must learn to tame our temptaions
Tame Your Temptation
Habits of Happiness Part 2
We all want to be happy.
I bet there is no single person who intentionally chooses to be unhappy.
However, so many people in this world are not happy for one reason or another.
In order to be happy, this is what we have to realize.
Happiness is our choice.
Happiness is something that we choose.
In order to be happy, we must do things that will bring happiness.
However, there are many who are not happy.
It is partly because of the way they think, the way they talk, and the way they act does not make them happy.
When people think negatively, talk critically, and act unbiblically, these are not something that they acquired overnight.
They are habits that they have built.
Therefore, in order to be happy, we must change the way we think, talk, and act.
We must build habits of thinking, talking, and acting biblically.
And we can form these habits by repeatedly doing them.
Therefore, during this series, we are talking about habits that we must build to experience happiness in our lives.
And today we will talk about the importance of taming our temptation.
When we give into temptation, we will suffer.
We will suffer from guilt, embarrassment, and shame.
This is why in order to be happy, we must to tame our temptation.
We shouldn’t be surprised when temptation knocks at our doors.
We are Satan’s most strategic targets.
He tempts Christians who seek to live godly lives.
The early Christians in the Bible also struggled with temptations just as we do.
We find one of the examples in the church in Corinth.
Corinth was one of the most wicked cities in the first-century world.
And the church in Corinth was composed of people, who were products of that culture.
They had difficulty giving up the habits of their culture.
It is easy for me to imagine that one day Paul received a letter from some young man in Corinth.
The letter must have said something like this.
“Sir, I gave my heart to Jesus. I made the commitment to follow Jesus. Then why is it that I still want to do all the old things? My mind and my appetites are the same as they ever were. Honestly, I am disappointed. I thought Jesus would make me strong.”
Perhaps there was a young man like that, and perhaps Paul had him in mind when he wrote this section of his letter dealing with new life and old appetites.
I believe that Paul’s words for him can be applied to you and me, who are trying to tame our temptations.
Paul gave us this advice to help tame our temptation.
I. We must remember that we are not alone (v. 13a).
Verse 13a says this.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
These are words of reassurance.
Whatever we are going through, we must remember that we are not the only ones to have passed that way.
We are in good company.
This is something that we tend to forget in the midst of temptation.
We feel isolated.
We feel that we are the only ones who are struggling with this temptation.
The devil has a way of slipping the blinders onto our heads, so that we can see no one else.
However, Paul is saying, in essence, that temptation is the oldest trick in the book.
It is a “humanity thing.”
It comes with the territory.
Every one faces the same temptation.
There is an encyclopedia of every conceivable temptation.
It is called the Bible.
Throughout its pages are the stories of men and women struggling with temptation—some, like Samson, who were consumed; others, like Daniel, who stood firm.
And what about Jesus?
He too was tempted.
Hebrews 4:15 says this.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
This means the holiest Man who ever lived felt every urge we feel.
However, He never gave in—He never sinned.
This tells a very important truth.
Temptation is not a sin.
This is a very crucial point that many of us miss.
I counsel people, who feel defeated simply because temptation knocked upon their door.
And that is the devil’s doing.
He is saying, “You are already defeated,” when the truth is that temptation itself is neutral.
The sin only comes in the yielding.
Temptation is like a fork in the road.
We are presented with a choice, and we choose the high one or the low one.
Wouldn’t life be easier if there were no forks, no decisions to make—if the road was simply a straight and narrow path?