Christian teens face temptation every day, and not everyone is prepared to overcome those temptations. At some point most people are faced with the desire to submit to sin, whether it is gluttony, sex, gossip, cheating, and more. Sometimes those temptations are minor, so they are pretty easy to overcome, but other times the desire seems too great. Remember, though, that temptation is not the sin, even Jesus was tempted. We only sin when we give into the temptation. Here are some things you can do to help you avoid and overcome temptations:
- Identify Temptations
Everyone is a little different, so it is important to know what temptations are difficult for you to overcome. Some people may find that gossip is more alluring than sex. Others may find that even holding a date’s hand is too much of a temptation. When you know what tempts you the most you can be proactive about handling that temptation.
- Pray About the Temptation
Most Christian teens know the temptations that are difficult to overcome. For instance, if you find gossip a great temptation then pray every night for the strength to overcome the gossip. Ask God to provide you with the strength to walk away from the gossip and to know what information is gossip and what is real information.
- Avoid the Temptation
When we know what temptations are being the most difficult, we can prepare ourselves for those situations. In some cases we can even avoid the temptation itself. For instance, if premarital sex is a temptation, then you can avoid being in situations where you might find yourself giving into that desire. If you are prone to cheating, then you may want to position yourself during a test so that you cannot see the paper of the person next to you.
- Use Your Bible for Inspiration
The Bible is there to offer Christian teens advice and guidance, so why not use it? Scripture verses like 1 Corinthians 10:13, “You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptation” (CEV), can help inspire you in moments of temptation. Try to look up what the Bible says on your areas of temptation for inspiration and guidance.
- Use the Friend System
Do you have a friend or leader that you can trust to guide you in facing your temptations? Sometimes it helps to have someone else you can talk to about your issues or even brainstorm ways you can avoid temptation. You may even ask to meet regularly with your friend to hold you accountable.
- Use Positive Language
What does positive language have to do with avoiding temptation? It actually has more to do with overcoming temptation. You need to believe God can help you overcome the desire to sin in order to actually overcome it. Avoid saying things like, “It’s too hard,” or “I’ll never be able to do this.” Remember, God can move mountains. Try changing how you approach the situation and say, “God can help me overcome this,” or “It’s not too hard for God.”
7. Give Yourself Alternatives
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Bible states that God can show you how to escape from your temptation. Allow yourself to see that escape. If you know your temptations, know how you can overcome. Give yourself alternatives. For instance, if you are tempted to lie to protect another person’s feelings, try considering other ways to word the truth so it doesn’t sound so harsh. If people around you are getting into drugs, try making new friends. Alternatives aren’t always easy, but they can be the path God creates for you to avoid and overcome temptation.
- It’s Not the End of the World
While avoiding temptation makes life a lot easier, it can be discouraging when we do give into that sin. We all make mistakes. That is why God offers us forgiveness. While you should not sin knowing that you can be forgiven, you should know that God’s grace is available. So add 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away,” (CEV) to that list so you know that God will always be there ready to catch you when you fall.
We all face temptation to sin from time to time, and that pull can be incredibly strong. It’s hard to overcome temptation by yourself, but God reminds us that we’re not in this alone. There are many Bible verses on temptation, because God wants to give us the tools to rise above it and be our best.
Temptation is Tough
No one said temptation was easy to walk away from. It’s actually rather difficult sometimes.
Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak. (CEV)
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (NIV)
Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry and don’t give the devil a chance. (CEV)
Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
1 Peter 4:12
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (NLT)
The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. (CEV)
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (ESV)
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (NIV)
2 Timothy 3:13
While evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (NIV)
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (NKJV)
You’re Not Alone
God doesn’t mean for us to overcome temptation by ourselves. He is there with us, and He often provides us with support system to get us through.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (NASB)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 6:13
You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (NIV)
There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (NLT)
1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (NIV)
1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. (CEV)
2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will always keep me from being harmed by evil, and he will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. Praise him forever and ever! Amen. (CEV)
Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord. (CEV)
We Can Overcome
Overcoming temptation isn’t impossible. There are many Bible verses reminding us that we can overcome it.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV)
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (ESV)
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (NLT)
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (NLT)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (NLT)
1 John 2:16-17
Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever. (CEV)
1 Peter 4:7
Everything will soon come to an end. So be serious and be sensible enough to pray. (CEV)