Without warning, temptation often finds a way to deceive us and knock us off course. But as Christians, aren’t we supposed to be different? Why is our struggle with temptation and sin so difficult to overcome?
Reflecting on extensive research from the Center for Bible Engagement, Dr. Arnie Cole points out that there is a proven strategy to resist temptation and experience life change through the daily process of Scripture engagement.
“If you’re engaged in Scripture, we find that people are tempted as much but not as long, which is huge. You’ll find somebody who struggles with anger; they still have the anger thing, but the Holy Spirit tends to help them take control of it.”
“They may have one or two times during the day that they struggle with their anger, but then suddenly it goes away. Whereas someone who’s not focused on Jesus, they may end up struggling two or three hours every day with anger.”
Dr. Cole says the same would be true for someone who is struggling with an internet pornography addiction.
“You will find people that are engaged in porn, pastors even, and they get lost spiritually because they haven’t biblically connected their hearts to Jesus on a daily basis.”
He describes the difference between someone who has been tempted, verses someone who has actually fallen into sin.
“Being tempted is not a sin; Jesus was tempted. There are some times when you can’t help but be tempted; for example, you see something by accident. It’s what you do afterwards with it that is the problem. The more something blocks you from Jesus the worse off your day’s going to be.”
Everybody struggles with temptations, and as Christians, we are not exempt from falling into our sinful nature. But there is hope! Staying connected to the Word of God on a daily basis is our greatest strategy in resisting the enemy’s schemes and staying true to our convictions.
Dr. Arnie Cole has been active most of his professional life in developing methodologies, processes and best practices to instill significant behavioral change in individuals. Dr. Cole currently serves as CEO for Back to the Bible and Director of Research & Development for the Center for Bible Engagement in Lincoln, Nebraska.