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To Overcome Temptation, Change Your Focus

Description

You can’t always control your circumstances, and you often can’t control the way you feel. But you can control what you think about.

“We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NCV)

Here’s the secret to temptation: Don’t fight it. Just refocus.

Whatever you resist persists. Did you know that, in the Bible, not once are you told to resist temptation? You are told to resist the Devil, but that’s a whole different issue. The key to overcoming temptation is not to push back. It’s to change your focus.

Whatever gets your attention gets you. The battle for sin always starts in the mind. That’s why the Bible says in Psalm 119:6, “Thinking about your commands will keep me from doing some foolish thing” (CEV). Why? Because if you’re thinking about God’s truth, you’re not thinking about less important things.

It’s true in every single area of life -- good or bad. If you focus on godly things, they’ll pull you in a godly direction. If you focus on the stuff you see on television and on social media, they’ll pull you in another direction. Whatever you focus on gets your attention. Whatever gets your attention is going to get you.

The key is to change your mind.

Temptation always follows a predictable pattern: attention, arousal, and action. Your mind gets hooked, your feelings kick in, and then you act on it.

So don’t fight a temptation; just turn your mind to something else.

The Bible says it like this: “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NCV). The thing is, most people aren’t very good at capturing every thought and turning it to Christ -- because it takes lots of practice. You can’t always control your circumstances, and you often can’t control the way you feel.

But you can control what you think about. That’s always your choice. And if you change the way you think, it changes the way you feel, and that will change the way you act.

Stop fighting temptation today. Instead, change your mind -- and that will change your life!

Talk It Over

What do you spend your time thinking about? Where does your mind wander when you’re not focused on something specific?

In what situations do you know your mind will focus on things that will cause you to sin?

How can you train yourself so that it is more natural for you to focus on God’s Word and truths instead of the things that lead to temptation?

Premium Resource: Daily Hope Advent Calendar

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

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