1170) Resisting Temptation

C. S. Lewis on resisting temptation in Mere Christianity:

     You may remember I said that the first step towards humility was to realize that one is proud.  I want to add now that the next step is to make some serious attempt to practice the Christian virtues.  A week is not enough.  Things often go swimmingly for the first week.  Try six weeks.  By that time, having, as far as one can see, fallen back completely or even fallen lower than the point one began from, one will have discovered some truths about oneself.  No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.  A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means.  This is an obvious lie.  Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.  After all, you find out the strength of an army by fighting against it, not by giving in.  You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.  A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.  That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness.  They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.  We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it:  and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means— the only complete realist.

*********************************************

Galatians 5:22-23a  —   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Philippians 2:12-13  —   Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed— not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence— continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Mark 14:38  —  (Jesus said), “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

James 1:12-15  —  Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Hebrews 2:18  —  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

*********************************************

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

–Jesus, Matthew 6:13

Advertisements