Steps for Christian Teens Overcoming Temptation

Arm Yourself With Tools to Resist the Urge to Sin

We face temptations every day. If we're not armed with tools to overcome those temptations, we're more than likely going to give in to them instead of resisting them.

At some point, our desire to sin will rise up in the form of gluttony, greed, sex, gossip, cheating, or something else (you can fill in the blank). Some temptations are minor and easy to overcome, but others seem too enticing to resist. Remember, though, that temptation is not the same thing as sin. Even Jesus was tempted.

We sin only when we give into the temptation. Here are some things you can do to gain the upper hand in overcoming temptation.

8 Steps to Overcoming Temptation

01
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Identify Your Temptations

Overcoming Temptation
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Everyone is different, so it's important to know your weak areas. Which temptations are difficult for you to overcome? Some people may find that gossip is more alluring than sex. Others may find that even holding your date's hand is too much of a temptation. When you know what tempts you the most, you can be proactive about fighting that temptation.

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Pray About Temptations

Walk Away From Gossip
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Once you know the temptations that are difficult for you to overcome, you can begin to pray for them. For instance, if gossip is your great temptation, then pray every night for the strength to overcome your desire to gossip. Ask God to help you walk away when you find yourself in situations where people are gossiping. Pray for wisdom to discern when information is gossip and when it is not. 

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Avoid Temptations

Cheating on Test
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The most effective way to overcome temptation is to avoid it altogether.  For instance, if premarital sex is a temptation, then you can avoid being in situations where you might find yourself giving into that desire. If you are prone to cheating, then you may want to position yourself during a test so that you cannot see the paper of the person next to you.

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Use the Bible for Inspiration

Overcome Temptation With the Bible
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The Bible contains advice and guidance for every area of life, so why not turn to it for overcoming temptation? 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptation." (CEV) Jesus battled temptation with the Word of God. Let truth from the Bible inspire you in moments of temptation. Try looking up what the Bible says about your areas of temptation so that you're ready when the need arises.

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Use the Buddy System

Buddy System Accountability Parnter
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Do you have a friend or leader that you can trust to guide you in facing your temptations? Sometimes it helps to have someone you can talk to about your struggles or even brainstorm practical ways you can avoid temptation. You may even ask to meet regularly with your friend to hold yourself accountable.

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Use Positive Language

Possible With God
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What does positive language have to do with overcoming temptation? In Matthew 12:34, Jesus said, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." When our language is faith-filled, it reflects our heartfelt belief in God, that he can and will help us overcome the desire to sin. Stop saying things like, "It's too hard," "I can't," or "I'll never be able to do this." Remember, God can move mountains. Try changing how you approach the situation and say, "God can help me overcome this," "God's got this," or "This is not too hard for God."

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Give Yourself Alternatives

A Way of Escape
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In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Bible states that God can show you how to escape from your temptation. Are you looking for the way of escape God has promised you? If you know your temptations, you can give yourself alternatives. For instance, if you are tempted to lie to protect another person's feelings, try considering other ways to say the truth in a way that won't wound. You can speak the truth with love. If your friends are doing drugs, try developing new friendships. Alternatives aren't always easy, but they can be the path God creates for you to overcome temptation.

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It's Not the End of the World

Confess and Repent
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We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. That is why God offers forgiveness. While we should not sin because we know we'll be forgiven, we should know that God's grace is available when we do. Consider 1 John 1:8-9, "If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn't in our hearts. But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away," (CEV) Know that God will always be here ready to catch us when we fall.

Edited by Mary Fairchild