Temptation is common to all of us but when does temptation become sin? Should I repent if I am tempted? Or is it when I act on the temptation that it becomes sin? Sin is an action and every action begins with a thought; the thought is not sin.
Thoughts come to us all the time flitting in and out. Most of them just move on through without any acknowledgement. Others we notice, as a butterfly gently passing by the window, we glance, wonder and away it goes. Others come and want to hang out.
When a sinful thought comes that we invite in for tea, the one that wants to stay and hang out, even be friends – that’s when the problems begin. We need to be relentless with the thoughts we allow to hang out in our minds.
Read: James 1:12-15
Notice the progression in this passage. Temptation comes 1) from our own desires. We are 2) enticed and 3) dragged away; then 4) sinful actions are born 5) sin grows and 6) death comes.
At any point in this progression we can say “no” to the thought and peace returns. Sin averted!
For a story with obvious progression from thought to sin, read about King David in the Old Testament. It provides a vivid, clear picture of a person who at any point, could have said “No!” to avoid many heartaches.
Read: 2 Samuel 11:1-4
What thoughts have you allowed to linger too long? How has God provided a way out of the temptation? Who have you told about your struggle?
Remember – we are better together!