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What's Your Emergency Plan for Temptation?

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If you don’t want to get stung, stay away from the bees.

“Run from all these evil things.” (1 Timothy 6:11, NLT)

Do you have an emergency plan for getting away when you’re tempted? Do you have preventative strategies to help you stay away from your biggest temptations? If you don’t have those things, you need them now!

First, your emergency plan. When you find yourself tempted, you need a panic button, an emergency plan. The Bible is clear about what that emergency plan is: You run.

1 Timothy 6:11 says, “Run from all these evil things” (NLT).

The Bible says you need to move quickly out of any situation that causes you temptation. Never argue with a temptation. You’ll always lose. Emotions will take over, and emotions aren’t always logical.

No matter the temptation, you have to get away. It could be a temptation to cheat in business. It could be a sexual temptation. But your response should be the same: Get out.

But even better than running from temptation is to prevent temptation in the first place. Another way to say that is this: If you don’t want to get stung, stay away from the bees.

Years ago when I was a youth minister, I’d tell kids, “Don’t decide in the back seat of a car that you’re going to be sexually pure and save yourself for marriage.” You must make a preventative strategy in advance and not put yourself in the tempting situation. If you end up in the back seat of a car, you’re going to move by your glands, not your plans. Hormones will kick in, and you’ll be overwhelmed.

The same principles apply throughout life.

If you know you get short-tempered with your children when you’re tired, develop a preventative strategy. Set an earlier bedtime for your kids or have some quiet time for everyone at the time of day that’s most difficult for you. 

Don’t wait until you’re faced with a morally questionable deal to decide that your business will be above reproach. Build into your business plan accountability that prevents you from being tempted in the moment.

Take time today to develop preventative strategies for temptation. And when those don’t work out, have your emergency plan: Don’t resist temptation -- run from it. That’s the simplest and surest way out.

Talk It Over

What’s the difference between a preventative strategy and an emergency plan for temptation?

What is one of your greatest temptations? What’s your preventative strategy for avoiding this temptation? What’s your emergency plan when you encounter it unexpectedly? If you don’t have those strategies and plans, take time today to make them.

What temptation has continued to be a problem for you, despite your preventative strategies and emergency plans? Ask a trusted friend today to pray for you and hold you accountable to those strategies and plans.

Premium Resource: Toolbox For Life Study Kit

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

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