2010-11-12 - Handling Pink Elephants
Part 1 ~ Originally Preached 2002-04-04
I'd like for us all to start with a little mental exercise. Please read this paragraph and do as it says. First everyone, close your eyes. Now I want each of you to think of something strange and silly; think about pink elephants. Get a real good image of them in your mind. Get a clear image of them playing and bouncing do whatever things happy pink elephants may do.
OK now, don't think about them. Instead think about not thinking about them. Try to not think about pink elephants for a few minutes. Don't think about it. Oh I know it's tempting; those things keep popping into your head. OK kick them out and this time try real hard not to think about them. Dang not even a second and you're thinking about 'em again right? Can't do it can you?
OK Open your eyes before you all fall asleep. Now suppose that instead of pink elephants that had been some bad thought - a temptation to sin. Many of us would have lost the battle. Many of us would have failed to bring every thought into captivity. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Many of us would be diving into sin mentally and perhaps even physically right now.
That's what I want to talk about now is Temptation. Temptation is nothing new it led to the first sin in the Garden. Notice I said "led to" not "was" the first sin. Never ever forget that being tempted is not the same as sin. Temptation is not sin, but playing with temptation invites sin.
Jesus himself was tempted just like every other person who has ever lived. He simply dealt with each temptation effectively. One set of Jesus' temptations is recorded in the Gospels and can be found in Luke.
So how like Jesus do we win against sin when temptation beats at our soul's door because "opportunity may knock just once but temptation leans on the bell"? Like the great philosopher Barney Fife said we just have to "nip it, nip it in the bud". Before we consider how maybe we need to first ask ourselves why.
Why is it important to nip temptations in the bud? Next time, let's look at this individually and collectively.
Until next time.
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.