TEMPTATION....what's yours? We all have them and we all need to be real about what they are. There is no shame in being tempted, even Jesus was tempted. If you're not being tempted from time to time you're not breathing (or are not being honest). Temptations can grow into problems that consume more and more of our lives and cause crises when we allow them the time and access to our minds and bodies.
Pastor Scott talked about men and their struggles on Sunday, and touched a little on the struggles that women face. I won't elaborate any on men's struggles, since I've never been one, but I wanted to add a couple things about women. I believe that one of the greatest struggles women face comes from what I call "fantasy thinking." The fantasies can come from romance novels, soap operas, watching certain TV shows, etc. We begin to try to live out the lives of these fiction characters and expect the same from those around us. This is a recipe for disaster!
We also need to choose our friends carefully. There is a common saying among women (often older women teach it to the younger ones) that goes like this, "The first time you marry for love, and the second time you marry for money." This saying illustrates the need to be careful of who we are sharing our thoughts and feelings with. Men are not the only ones that can put destructive thoughts in your mind. This is why it is so important to have Godly women friends.
It is so important for us to remember that no matter the temptation we are facing someone else has faced it, you are not going to be tempted by something you don't have the power to resist and there is always a way out. I tell my children not to do certain things and go certain places, but if they do I will be their way out. They can call on me and I will come get them.
Maybe you have already been infected by a parasite. But you are not too far gone for the Lord to heal you! The Lord's mercies are new every day. Ask forgiveness from the Lord and forgiveness is yours. Then make the necessary changes to your life to keep moving forward. There is a famous baseball player (Josh Hamilton who came back from addictions to drugs and alcohol) that feels like he can't face his temptations by himself. So when he is on the road he takes a trusted friend with him to help battle his temptations. Everyone should find someone or a group that holds them accountable. We all need accountability.
In every sport you are always taught that the best defense is a good offense, and facing temptation is no different. To defend against temptation be prayed up, filled up with the Holy Spirit, and read your Bible. This won't stop all temptations, but you will be able to resist them!
Melissa - Mid Week Minder Team