As I look back at the beginning stages of my pursuit of purity, I recognized that there were times that I would respond to temptation almost immediately. I would give no thought as to the consequences of my potential choice; no thought to reaching out for prayer. No thought whatsoever. I felt tempted so therefore I compromised. One lesson that I have since learned is how to pause before acting out on tempting feelings and thoughts. The analogy I like to use is a bridge. A bridge can be a connection between two points, but it can also be used as an avenue of escape. How does the picture of a bridge help me during moments of weakness? Here are 3 questions I ask myself:
1. Will what I’m about to do lead to greater holiness and righteousness in my life?
It isn’t always easy to think about this when in the midst of intense temptation. However, I learned that if I do not think beyond the moment of temptation, then I will most likely deal with shame and regret for an extended period of time afterwards. I am reminded that sinful temptation always overpromises but always under delivers.
2. Will what I’m about to do honor God?
This question isn’t always easy to reflect on because I know that my potential sinful actions do not honor God. But when I reflect on this truth for a few minutes, I feel strengthened. Why? Because not only do I reflect on the consequences of a sinful choice, but I am reminded to focus on the blessings that come from making a God-honoring decision.
3. Will what I’m about to do contribute to a deeper level of trust in my marriage?
This is another question that can be difficult to reflect on because I know the answer. I have never seen a sinful choice strengthen the relationship with my spouse, but I have seen trust broken, questions have arisen, and hurt created. And while forgiveness is eventually given and grace extended the pain and hurt that was caused by my sinful choice was difficult to watch. I am reminded that trust takes a lifetime to build and mere minutes to destroy.
These questions provide a way of escape for me as long as I take the time to pause and reflect on each of them. So the next time you feel tempted, I pray that you pause and use your bridge as an avenue of escape.
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