A Faith that works when life doesn't (Day 14)

 Instead of Resisting Temptation, Refocus

The reason we are easily defeated by temptation is that we try to resist it instead of refocusing on something else. What you resist, persists.

The more you think about something, the more you're attracted to it. So, if you want to defeat temptation, don’t fight it. Change your focus!

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21 NIV). If your mind is filled with good thoughts, there's no room for thoughts that may tempt you to sin.

During difficult seasons, you may face recurring temptations. Whatever those areas are for you, you’ll get discouraged if you keep trying to fight against them, particularly if you continually give in.

The key is to refocus your attention on something else. Here’s an example—if you’re tempted while watching TV, don’t keep telling yourself, “I’m not going to watch this.” Instead, pick up the remote and change the channel.

Temptation always starts with a thought. If Satan can't get your attention, you can't be tempted. Advertisers use the same tactic. They get your attention and then engage your emotions. So you move from attention to emotions to action.

Have you ever experienced this: Someone asks you, "Are you hungry right now?" And even though you’re not hungry, you start to feel hungry. Or they ask, “Are you tired?” And you answer, “You know, I hadn’t really thought about it, but now that you mention it, I am feeling a little worn down.”

Whatever gets your attention, gets you.

That’s why, when you’re tempted, you need to change your focus. Philippians 4:8 says, “My friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable” (GNT).

The more you fight a tempting thought or feeling, the more it controls you. So don’t fight it! Refocus and replace your thoughts with things that are good and make you more like Jesus.

Talk It Over

  • How are you tempted during stressful situations? What are ways you can refocus away from these temptations?
  • How can memorizing Scripture help you refocus your thoughts when you are tempted?
  • Based on Philippians 4:8, what kinds of things does the Bible say should get the focus of your attention?

This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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