When I talk to other Christian men who want to see victory in their lives regarding temptation and lustful thoughts, they almost always share with me how the act of suppressing tempting thoughts is what they find most difficult. I think the reason why overcoming tempting and lustful thoughts is difficult is because we are trying to suppress them instead of dealing with them outright.
I like to use the analogy of a ‘jack-in-the-box’ toy to illustrate my point.
As children, many of us probably had a ‘jack-in-the-box’ toy. We all enjoyed slowly twisting the crank until, in a moment of surprise, up sprung a clown that would both frighten us and bring a smile to our face all at the same time. I see temptation in a similar way. Many times we may go about our daily mundane activities with no idea of when temptation may come. It may come at the local bakery picking up our breakfast on the way to work. Or, a tempting thought may come while sitting in rush hour traffic on the way home. Temptation does not send us a daily schedule of when it will confront us.
But, what do you do when temptation does come? We shouldn’t just shake our heads trying to suppress the tempting thought, because that is simply pushing the clown back down in an old ‘jack-in-the-box’ toy. When I turned the handle on my toy, I never knew when the clown would spring up. Temptation is the same way. If you suppress the tempting thought, you only hide it for a period of time before it will come back again. In our pursuit of purity we can’t treat temptation like a ‘jack-in-the-box’ toy. We must take those tempting thoughts captive and replace them with righteous thoughts. I do believe that we can live a lifestyle where we get to a point when the actual thought of temptation becomes repulsive. How do we get to that point? I believe it begins with the transformation and renewal of our minds in Him and through His Word. My prayer is that I would continue to stay committed to that process. How about you?
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