In 2010, Bob Rice put together a list of six tips – six things you can work at – when you’re fighting the battle for sexual purity (something many of us have to do). Bob is a former youth minister and currently a professor of Catechetics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He spoke at the Holy Trinity Parish Youth Rally in 2011, and this six-part series is his advice on how to live up to God’s goal of purity. It’s still good advice, so I want you to read it and live it. I’ve also put together some further tips meant to encourage you in the battle against porn addiction, which you can read at www.mikeisthird.com/apersonfirst. Bob’s tips are:
This is part four of the series: “Trust”.
Here’s my favorite verse when it comes to dealing with temptation, sexual or otherwise. It’s worth memorizing:
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. But God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. And when you are tempted, he will give you a way to stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Let me break that verse down into three parts:
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. The battle you are fighting is not so unique that you can claim you are alone in your struggles. Dealing with sexual sin is one of the most common experiences of the human condition. All the saints have faced it. Even before the Internet was created, people were dealing with sexual sin. So be comforted that you’re not alone in your struggle, and that many have overcome this trial by the grace of God. You can, too.
God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Listen again to those words of Sacred Scripture: God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He allows us to be tempted because he respects our free will, and if we are honest with ourselves we realize that we sin because we want to. Or at least a part of us does. But God will not allow temptation to overwhelm us. We always have a choice. Just as He respects our free will, He makes the devil respect it as well.
This promise assumes a few things. First, that we’ve been prudent, and haven’t thrown ourselves into a sinful situation. Second, that we’re not dealing with an addiction, which by its very definition means we can’t control our actions. But even in those dire situations, God is mighty to save. He can shine a light in the darkest places. And He can help us overcome our addictions, though the path to do so might be long and difficult.
And when you are tempted, He will give you a way to stand up under it. When we cry out, “God, help me!” He always throws us a lifeline. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve struggled with sexual sin and my phone would ring, or someone would be at my door, or my computer would crash. If we find ourselves falling into sin, look for a way out. God will provide one. You can trust in that promise. You can trust in Him to save you.
(Copyright 2010 www.bob-rice.com)