What are you tempted by? My reading this morning included something about temptation, and my first thought was that nothing was tempting me. Think again Crazy!
- the temptation to be mad all day about Apple’s latest OS X… three different things (so far!) have changed for the worse, for what I do;
- the temptation to worry about things.
Rick Warren’s advice is excellent: you’re not to resist the temptation (though you do resist the Devil), you must simply ignore it–refocus. “The battle for sin always starts in the mind.” All you have to do is THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE!
So you don’t fight a temptation; you just turn your mind to something else. “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) […. NCV]
The thing is, we’re not very good at capturing every thought and turning it to Christ, because it takes lots of practice. You can’t always control your circumstances, and you can’t even always control the way you feel. But you can control what you think about. That’s always your choice. And if you change the way you think, it changes the way you feel, and that will change the way you act.
I can testify that it works! You see, I have TWO operations coming up: a little lump in my ear has to be removed (as well as a CT scan before that), and now I also have to have a tooth removed. The miracle is that I don’t really feel worried by any of it. It will be nice to have it all over with, but I’m not lying awake thinking about it. Whenever you feel worried, use it as a signal to pray about that particular thing. Then just think about how wonderful, amazing, mighty, etc. God is. In other words, worship!
In fact, I was more worried about people’s reaction to the news of our leaving the church we’ve been going to for 32 years… but all for nothing. It did get announced at the ladies’ meeting just before I arrived (a little late); everything got “laid out” (people’s questions, my answers, etc.), and there was no “uncomfortableness”, really. In fact, one lady wrote me a note (secretly) that she agreed with us. Another suggested one of the churches we could try, because she knows their new pastor. And these two ladies were the ones I was worried about answering!