“Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, honorable.” Philippians 4:8
What do you fill your mind with? The more you think about something, the more it takes a hold of you. And when you think about things that aren’t good for you, it’s easy for you to fall into temptation.
Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions, causing you to act on what you feel.
Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. The more you focus on things you know you shouldn’t do, telling yourself, “I don’t want to do this,” the stronger it pulls you in. When your mind is focused on something else, the temptation loses its power. When temptation calls, don’t argue with it—Just hang up!
Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation.
The Bible says, “Run from anything that gives you evil thoughts” (2 Timothy2:22 TLB) This is one of the few times its ok to run away. Turn off the television or screen. Walk away from a group of people who are gossiping. Leave the theater in the middle of the movie. To avoid being stung, stay away from bees.
To reduce temptation, keep your mind occupied with Gods word, and you will be filled with good thoughts. You defeat bad thoughts by thinking of something better. This is the principle of replacement. You overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
Next time you are in the midst of temptation, what “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable” things can you think about instead?