When faced with temptation, what does the Bible tell Christians to do? Should Christians wait and pray for the strength to overcome their temptations, or should they flee from it as soon as possible?
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church wrote on his website that the Bible instructs believers to have an “emergency strategy” for situations like this.
“The Bible says we need to move quickly out of any situation that causes us temptation. That means we develop preventative strategies to keep us from being tempted,” he said. “And we also need emergency strategies — a panic button — for when we’re tempted in an unexpected situation.”
He cited a simple example. If Christians are watching television and they suddenly come across a tempting program, they should not give a second thought about getting away and switching to another program.
“It could be a temptation to cheat in business. It could be a sexual temptation. But your response should be the same: get out. Never argue with a temptation,” he said. “You’ll always lose. Emotions will take over, and emotions aren’t logical.”
When he was still a youth minister, Warren advised kids never to make vows of celibacy on the back seat of a car. That decision to remain pure should be made long before then, because once they get on that back seat, hormones will kick in and kids will feel overwhelmed by their weaknesses.
“Please, take time today to make an emergency plan for when you’re tempted. Don’t resist temptation,” he said. “Replace it. Run. That’s the simplest way out.”
Meanwhile, Warren also said earlier that when Christians hesitate in obeying God’s instructions, they are already being disobedient. When God tells believers to do something, they should never answer, “I’ll think about it.”
“We don’t have that kind of authority. It’s no different from a child telling a parent, ‘I’ll think about it,'” he said. When God wants something done, Warren said he wants it done now because “every parent knows that delayed obedience is disobedience.”