2018-12-07 - Handling Pink Elephants
Part 4 ~ Friendly Faces
Originally Published 2010-11-26
As well as the black book, we can handle temptations with help from friendly faces.
Jesus - The friendliest face I know is that of Jesus. If we just enter his presence through prayer, sin will have to flee. The darkness of sin has no place in the presence of the Light of the world. In Hebrews, we read that he was tempted, so he could help us in our temptations. F.B. Meyer wrote in his book, The Christ Life for Your Life, "Abide in Jesus. Let the Holy Ghost in you keep you abiding in Jesus, so that when Satan comes to knock at your door, Jesus will go and open it, and as soon as the Devil sees the face of Christ looking through the door, he will turn tail …”
Other Godly People - As well as the smiling, loving face of Jesus, find Godly people to talk to about your struggles and your temptations. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) tells us, "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man." We can learn from and support one another. If you struggle with temptation, don't let the devil trick you into thinking you can't share your burdens with others. That's a great trick the devil uses. He'll tell you, "Oh you're all by yourself in this. If you ask for help, people will laugh at and look down on you. You got yourself into it; you have to get yourself out …" Baloney - don't believe the devil for one minute. No one is immune to temptation. No one - not even Jesus was immune. So if no one is immune, we all have our own ways of dealing with temptations. Get ideas from others, especially if you find others who struggle in the same areas as you. But to find those, you'll have to learn to be honest and open.
Don't just ask for advice; ask for accountability, as well. Let's look at Galatians 6:1-3.
Galatians 6:1-3 (KJV)
Don't think you're better than others. You're not. We are all sinners, saved by grace. If we forget that, we have forgotten why we need Jesus.
We all need to be willing to hold others accountable, and let them hold us accountable. One problem I struggle with caused me to turn to three Christian friends, and they have each prayed for me and talked with me about it. Just knowing they may ask about it, has even kept me out of harm's way at times. Those three people mean a lot to me - more than they may ever realize.
Now, if I may give you a couple pieces of advice. First, if someone comes to you with a problem, don't look down on them, don't share it as a prayer request, and don't belittle their problem. It may not be big to you, but obviously it is to them, and it took courage for them to come to you. Second, when you go to someone else, don't belittle their advice and attempts to help, even if their ideas don't work for you. After all, we're not all Paul or Dr. Phil.
Closing ThoughtAs you struggle, remember James 1:12 says that by enduring the temptations, by going through them - not around with - we are gaining the crown of life. And if you fall - and you will fall - remember Philippians 1:6 (KJV) states, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." You're not perfect, none of us are; we're just trying to get there. So don't give up. Temptation can cause us to succumb, to sink, and to sin … or to stand. Learning to use all available resources, and deal with it effectively, is what makes the difference.
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted