Your JOY in Christ is loving Jesus, Others and You. If you sin then this is how your joy will get messed up:
- Jesus: It really hurts God. It makes Him so down and sad as He loves you and does not want anyone to get hurt.
- Others: It hurts others e.g. adultery splits up marriage and leaves kids with no parents.
- You: It messes you up and you might have fun for a short time but you will be left in ruins for days, months or even years if it is a bad sin. The Christian soul and sin are not compatible.
The good news
We can stop it, there is an easy way to stop sinning and get joy:
I have underlined and made bold the words “wisdom” and “he will also provide the way of escape” as this is the answer:
- Wisdom – knowing how to avoid it, resist it when it does come and stop others from sinning.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
So what does that mean?
Let me explain with a story of a dream that I had. I dreamt that I was at a beach one day with my family and just before I went in the sea for a swim, my Mum said be careful and do not swim too far out. I sinned by not respecting the loving advice of my Mum and I swam out too far and I found that quite strong tidal currents started to pull me out to sea. So I tried to swim back as fast as I could but made no progress. I then prayed to God for wisdom as to what to do. He said stand up and so that is what I did. I found that the water came up to my waist and I was able to walk back to shore!
Wisdom is the way out of sin.
So how can we apply this to our daily lives? Be clever and be wise, think of ideas to get out of it so that you keep your JOY.
If you are being seduced by an adulterous person then pretend your phone vibrated in your pocket and say “my friend Jesus (don’t say the word Jesus) is in trouble I have to go”.
Avoid the adulterous person in the first place by choosing your friends wisely.
Teach this to your Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ too please.
Pray to God for wisdom to escape and pray in faith.
James 1:8 ESV “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
When it says that a double minded person who is unstable will not get wisdom, remember that God is love and He loves us and these words DO NOT mean He is angry with you, instead it would mean in that situation that He feels sorry for you.
If you lack faith then think of the Oceans song by Hillsong – this always gets my faith going.
Think of a different Christian song if you want but remember that you need faith to receive wisdom.
Another good method follows below:
- To resist temptation in the moment you should distract yourself with an alternative that is appealing e.g. if it is comfort eating chocolate then phone a friend or if you are tempted to text your ex then also phone a friend instead or do your favorite hobby.
- List the consequences to your life and how you will feel tomorrow if you give to temptation and have them in your memory for the moment you are tempted e.g. cheating on your partner will hurt someone you love.
- Label your temptation so that you can face it e.g. “I want to binge eat but I know I will feel bloated and horrible, so instead I will have a cup of tea which fills me up until dinner”.
- Remember that it hurts JOY; Jesus, Others and You.
- Have a good routine and have a good sleep pattern so that you are stronger to resist.
- Also make sure that you have enough play and quality time so that you are relaxed. This will make you stronger.
- Pray to Jesus for help to resist.
- See what tempts you, and do not go near it e.g. do not go near to a Thorntons chocolate shop if you have a chocolate problem.
- Choose wise friends that can support you to resist and who you can be accountable to.