Reasons to Avoid Temptation

We’ve discussed what things to avoid and we’ve thought about how to avoid them, but we haven’t explored the question of why we should stand strong against temptation. Why did Solomon take such a hard line on resisting lust’s appeal? Without the slightest hesitation, the wise man set forth the truth, which so few people stop to consider today.

First, recognize that the sexual tempter goes for “the precious life,” the extraordinary person. For some reason tempters fixate on people of great talent, skill, popularity, or potential. When gifted people fall prey to the “evil person,” the consequences can be devastating. Everything that once set them apart is suddenly compromised. They risk all these and more:

Loss of character

Injury to career

Loss of self-respect

A ruined reputation

Loss of others’ respect

Embarrassment in the community

Loss of family

Draining of one’s finances

Loss of Christian testimony

Possibility of disease

Loss of joy and peace

Beginning of a secret life

A second reason to avoid sexual temptation: the pain of chastisement will begin and may never completely subside. Although King David repented, received God’s forgiveness and grace, and became Israel’s greatest monarch until Jesus, the dark and devastating consequences of his choice never left his home or his heart. In fact, his sons followed in his footsteps, carrying on his legacy of sexual impurity. The one who yields to lustful temptations will indeed suffer . . . and so will his or her offspring.

Third, failure to avoid sexual temptation is clear evidence of someone lacking sense. Solomon likened temptation to “fire” and “hot coals” (Proverbs 6:27–28). Only a fool would try to tuck an open flame into his shirt pocket or stand on the burning embers of a fire. Similarly, only a fool would keep something close by that threatens to end life as he or she knows it.

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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