by Paul Cook
Examples of Fighting Temptation
These examples are intended to illustrate how the Temptation Response Actions could be employed in everyday situations. These are intended to be as realistic as possible without being a temptation source in themselves. If you find yourself being tempted by our examples, please skip this page and go to the course wrap-up.
Law Firm Lady
Setting: Bob is a senior partner at the Smith & Salmon law firm. He works with an attractive paralegal, Julie, who is single and in her early twenties. Bob’s wife is pregnant with their third child. He is working with Julie on a critical project today that requires frequent interaction with her.
Temptation: As Bob greets Julie that morning, he notices she looks particularly attractive. She smiles as their eyes meet. Out of the corner of his eye he has that 6th sense that Julie’s shirt may be open down one button too far. He feels the draw of his flesh to look down her shirt.
Action: Bob also feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit as he is tempted to look at Julie. His conscience tells him, “You’re happily married, Bob. Remember your wife and kids. Keep your eyes out of trouble and keep moving.” Instead of stopping for a chat with Julie by the coffee station, he decides to say a quick hello and keep moving down the hall toward his office. He doesn’t take the second look at Julie. For the rest of the day, Bob takes the precaution of leaving the office door open when he has to talk with Julie about the project.
Setting: As a single mom, Sally is usually so busy with work and the kids that she barely has energy and time for anything else. She often feels alone and trapped and longs for companionship and escape. She recently discovered a Christian internet chatroom that helped her feel less isolated. She figured it could even be a way that God might bring a good man into her life. Tonight Sally is feeling lonely. It’s been a hard work week and the kids have finally gone to sleep. She decides to visit her favorite Christian chat room to see if anything interesting is going on before going to bed. Shortly after logging in, she strikes up a conversation with “Charlie15,” who is apparently married to an overly controlling woman.
Temptation: Charlie seems to be a very caring man who apparently made a poor marriage choice. He seems to genuinely be interested in Sally and she feels sorry for him. Before she realizes it, their e-conversation lasts over an hour. Sally is really drawn to Charlie and seems to share similar interests with him. When Charlie discovers that they are living in the same city, he invites Sally to meet him for coffee.
Action: A few warning flags went up in Sally’s mind when Charlie mentioned his marital problems, but it felt so good to have someone paying her attention that she kept chatting with Charlie. Even so, as she continued to converse with him, that feeling in her gut that something wasn’t right continued. When he suggested that they meet, she knew that this was the moment of decision. She told herself, “This is how marriages are torn apart. To meet with him would be setting up an affair. That’s adultery and I won’t do that.” Sally declines the offer and politely exits the chatroom without giving Charlie her email address or phone number.
Setting: Luke’s next door neighbor, Natalie, is a recent divorcee. Luke is married and has two children. Being a good Christian neighbor that he is, Luke offers to help Natalie with any house repairs that come up. One Saturday afternoon, while Luke’s wife and kids are at a soccer game, Natalie calls for help with a leaky faucet.
Temptation: “Can you come over now?” asks Natalie. Instantly, Luke is aware of the potential compromising situation. Natalie is an attractive woman and has always been very friendly to him. “Lord, please help me,” Luke prays silently, as he searches for the answer to give her. The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife flashes before Luke’s thoughts. The red danger lights seem to be going off in his conscience.
Action: For a moment, the idea of being alone with Natalie in the master bathroom is quite enticing, but just then a way out seemed to flash into his mind…”Ah…Natalie, if the faucet can wait a few hours, I’d like to wait until Mary gets back with the kids, so I can bring my son John with me. He’s been wanting to help me with those fix-it jobs and I’m sure he’d be helpful with this one.”
Spring Break Girls
Setting: Steve is headed home early from work on a Friday afternoon. It’s been a great week for Steve, as he has achieved the top sales month for the first time at HeadhuntersRus, Inc. It’s a beautiful April day in Florida.
Temptation: As Steve gets on the highway, he notices a carload of college girls in a convertible just ahead returning from the beach. From about a half a mile, he can see flowing hair and bikini tops. In the past, it would have been a no-brainer to speed up for a closer look and maybe impress them with his brand new Porsche. In his mid 40’s and at the top of his game at work, its tempting to try to return to his younger days, when he dated plenty of pretty girls that looked good in bikinis.
Action: Steve reminds himself that any one of those girls could be his daughter. How would he feel if some guy was checking out his daughter? “The truth is, those girls are God’s daughters,” Steve thought. He then remembers the covenant that Job had made with his eyes where he would not lust. Steve, too, had made a similar commitment to God, praying that he would not use his eyes for sin. His first step is to set the cruise control at the speed limit (the Lord had been teaching him driving the speed limit also). As the girls pull away ahead and as other cars zoom past him, he remembers that he hadn’t even thanked God for the successful month he had. He prays, “Lord, please forgive me for even thinking about lusting over those girls. I reaffirm my commitment to honor you with my eyes and thoughts. Thank you, Lord, for the best month I’ve ever had at work! I praise and worship you now.” Steve pops in a praise CD and sings the rest of the way home.
Checking-Out at the Supermarket
Setting: John is a single who is adjusting to post-college life and starting his career. John is committed to waiting for the right girl to marry. In college, he dated many girls, and unfortunately compromised sexually with several of them. During his senior year, he got hooked up with some Christian guys on campus who helped him re-establish boundaries for purity and start walking with Jesus daily. John has found that living as a single can be lonely, especially since he’s not yet found a church singles group to hook up with.
Temptation: For some reason, every time John goes to the corner supermarket, it seems like all the pretty ladies in town are shopping when he’s there. Ever since he committed to sexual purity, it seemed like his attraction to women in general has increased. The lusty magazine covers in the checkout aisles and the pretty girls who work the cash registers are recurring temptations for John whenever he shops. On this particular day as John is headed to checkout, he notices two registers open – one tended by Krystal, an attractive college-age girl who looks to be slightly on the wild side, and the other tended by Mary, a fifty-something, slightly overweight woman. John instantly feels drawn to guide his cart to Krystal and maybe have a friendly chat with her as he checks out. About the same time, he recognizes the familiar flash of skin from the magazine covers near the registers.
Action: John feels the “tugging” of the Holy Spirit on him for the split second that he contemplates where to steer his cart. He knows that something lustful happens when he looks into the eyes of beautiful women, especially those who look risqué. He gets lost in those eyes somehow. While it may not exactly be fantasizing, he knows that it’s probably not a good thing to be doing. He remembers the words for 1 Corinthians 10:13 – that God will provide a way out of a temptation so that we can stand up under it. John recognizes that sweet Mary is his way out, and obediently turns his cart to Mary’s aisle. Once in the aisle, John remembers his memory verse from Romans 6:19 which says to offer our bodies as instruments of righteousness and not for sin. Instead of looking at the magazine rack, John fixes his eyes on the wall behind the cash registers. He thanks God silently for the way out of the temptations and even prays for Mary, whatever her situation in life may be. He then heads home.
(More Temptation Scenarios)
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