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Articles > Solutions: > Overcoming Temptation

Overcoming Temptation

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."1

In one class I was teaching I asked the question, "What is the best way to handle temptation?" One jokester suggested, "Give in to it." Bad answer!

In her poem, "There's a Hole in My Sidewalk—an Autobiography in Five Short Chapters," Portia Nelson has an excellent answer:

    Chapter 1: 
    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 
    I fall in. …
    It isn't my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.
    Chapter 2: 
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. 
    I pretend I don't see it.
    I fall in again. …
    But it isn't my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.
    Chapter 3: 
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in; it's a habit. …
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.
    Chapter 4: 
    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.
    Chapter 5: 
    I walk down another street.2

That's an excellent way to resist the devil and avoid falling into temptation's pit. An equally effect way when feeling tempted is to repeatedly pray: “Help Jesus help!” And repeatedly say either out loud or in your mind, “Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus Christ is Son of the living God and is Lord of my life.” The evil tempter, Satan, hates these words and this prayer.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me always to stay focused on you so I can, with your help, resist the devil and not walk in the ways he would tempt me to take. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 4:7 (NIV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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