So the other day, Jamie was preparing to go and speak at a church. In one of his illustrations, he talks about M & M’s and throws a few packs into the crowd. (Doesn’t that make you want to invite him to your church?)
Anyway, for a day or two before he was scheduled to preach, the M & M’s he was using, as an illustration, were sitting on our dining room table. Every time I walked past, they made me crazy.
Suddenly, I had an intense craving for M & M’s. I needed M & M’s. Even though I hadn’t eaten an M & M in months, all of a sudden, I thought they were the best candy in the world.
Every time I walked past the table, I wanted to rip open that bag and devour those M & M’s.
It was a problem.
Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Do you know what I did next???
NO—-I did not eat the M & M’s. (Surprised???)
Instead, I MOVED the M & M’s. Frustrated with the temptation they were causing, I put them in Jamie’s briefcase so they would go with him to the church and not into my mouth.
As I was laughing at myself for needing to relocate the M & M’s, I started thinking about the difficulties of temptation.
We all struggle with temptation from time to time.
However, one of the problems I see in today’s church is that too many believers use temptation as an excuse to sin rather than something that needs to be overcome.
They see temptation as something to flirt with rather than flee.
The problem is that flirting with temptation usually results in sin.
That’s why the Bible is so clear about what we need to do with temptation:
Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Why do so many Christians not obey this teaching on temptation? I honestly believe one of the biggest problems is that too many believers enjoy the temptations and don’t want to flee from them. Instead, they entertain them.
For instance, some may enjoy hanging out with friends or at a place that creates peer pressure and tempts them to sin.
Others enjoy the tv show, movies, or music that causes them to think impure thoughts and stir up lust.
Some people enjoy the online relationship with a married member of the opposite sex so much that they don’t worry about the temptation to sin.
Because they enjoy temptation, they entertain it.
However, just as Eve entertained the serpent in the Garden and ultimately fell into sin, most of the time, when we entertain temptation, we fall into it and suffer the consequences.
This is not God’s will for us.
Instead, God wants us to do what I did with the M&M’s. We need to eliminate the things that tempt us.
We must do all we can to get it out of our lives.
Instead of falling for temptation, we need to flee from it.
Don’t entertain it; evict it.
As Jesus said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)
Now, obviously, Jesus wasn’t endorsing self-mutilation. Instead, He was saying that we need to do whatever we need to do to avoid falling into sin. This includes fleeing temptation rather than flirting with it.
Essentially, you need to do what I did with the M & M’s.
Don’t assume falling for temptation is inevitable. Fight! Flee! Do all you need to do to avoid falling into temptation.
Get a new attitude about temptation and determine that you will not fall—you will overcome.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."