Is it a sin to be tempted?
They were my favorite cookies: homemade vanilla pudding chocolate chip cookies. Sitting on my counter, fresh out of the oven, still warm and gooey. The only problem was I had decided to make wise food choices four days before and I had done so well! I had meal prepped, stocked up on protein bars and sworn off sugar.
Five minutes later, I had also eaten three of my favorite cookies.
As soon as the sugar rush wore off, the guilt took over. I had completely ruined my entire plan. I’d given in to temptation with no hint of self-discipline. Obviously, I might as well settle in because it looks like an expanding waistline from here on out. But that’s not exactly true. I had given into a moment of temptation, but that didn’t change the decision I’d made four days ago. I could still make wise food choices even though I’d made one poor one.
Everyone Experiences Temptation
Sometimes, we let our temptations plant seeds of doubt about our salvation. We wonder if we’re really saved because we still struggle with sin. We know the Bible says sin is wrong, but sometimes it still looks fun and enticing. And sometimes we give in even after we’ve been saved. Satan uses that to cast doubt in our minds about God’s love for us.
You are not alone. Satan schemes against us, using each person’s weaknesses and catering to them (Ephesians 6:11). There's a reason the sin in front of you is hard to say no to; it was put there on purpose by the enemy. Even Jesus experienced temptation by that same enemy. In the wilderness, Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights (Matthew 4:1-11).
Temptation Is Not a Sin
Jesus said we will have trouble in this world, so rather than being surprised by the temptations we face, we should be on the lookout for them (John 16:33). Temptation is not a sin; following through on temptation is. Because we live in a world of constant spiritual warfare, temptations are going to be a daily struggle for every believer, not just a few.
Salvation is a forever gift, never to be undone or ruined by sin.
You Can Overcome Temptation
Because Jesus is the Son of God, He was the only One able to resist temptation and lead a perfect life. When you surrender your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit empowers you to say no to temptation. God never allows us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and always provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). It’s our job to trust Him in the midst of temptation and choose the way out of it.
We are imperfect people and we live in a broken world. When we do give in to temptation, God is ready and willing to forgive us and guide us into a restored relationship and right choices. He saves us, not because of our actions, but because of Jesus’ actions on the cross. Salvation is a forever gift, never to be undone or ruined by sin.
Following Jesus doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted; it means that when you are tempted, God gives you the strength to resist because He has saved you and empowered you to endure through any circumstance.
If you’re facing temptation and you need help right now, talk with someone at your NewSpring campus or contact us here.