Day 10, Principle #10
Living and Loving By the Spirit
Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh opposes the spirit and the spirit opposes the flesh. They are in conflict with one another.” Galatians 5, “You were called to be free. Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Rather serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, if you bite and devour one another watch out you will be destroyed by one another. Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit desires what is contrary to flesh. They are in conflict with one another so that you are not to do whatever you want. but if you are led by the spirit you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witch craft hatred, discord jealousy, fits of rage selfish ambition, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, I warn you that those who live like this will not inherited the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love joy, peace forbearance, kindness goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh, with it’s passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Human beings are naturally inclined toward sin. From scripture we see that feeding our flesh is not limited to sexual immorality it is also attitudes of jealousy, hatred, envy and the like. Everyone feels the urge to sin at some point because sinning gives us tangible yet fleeting benefits at the cost of moral and spiritual ones. Temptation is the urge to sin. Because of humanity sinful nature everyone at some point fail to resist their temptations. We’re never alone in our quest to fight temptations. In the words of the Bible 1 Corinthians 10:13, “no temptation has ever overtaken you which is not common to man.”
5 Strategies to Avoid Temptation
- Making a plan to avoid temptation. Identify your temptations and make a conscious plan to overcome. For example if you’re battling alcohol addiction you may not want to hang out in a bar.
- Set reasonable goals for fighting temptation. Don’t say things like I’ll never sin again. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. A thought can be sinful. Though Jesus never sinned, He was tempted to Hebrews 4:15, “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.”
- Fighting temptation through positive behavior. Avoid situations and people that lead to sin. Certain people, places and situations that make sinning easy. If you’re frequently feeling the pressure by your “friends” to do things that you don’t want to do, don’t hang out with these friends. By distancing yourself from people, places, and things associated with your sin you’re eliminating opportunities for sin and giving yourself less chances to fail.
- Get help and accept help. There is no shame in asking for help from God or another person. Don’t hesitate to turn to a pastor, priest, counselor or trusted friend. Seeking and accepting help is a strong, sensible thing to do.
- Occupy yourself Positively. There’s truth to the old saying “idle hands are the devils workshop.” If you keep yourself busy with good virtuous work or an assortment of hobbies. Devoting yourself to your job and your studies you’ll have less time to feel that you need to sin out of boredom. If you have lots of free time, then do anything you can to fill it with activities that bring you closer to God. Hence making you a healthier richer better person for you and your spouse.