We’ve all blown it sometime. We’ve sinned, often grievously. Our sins have wreaked havoc in our own lives and the lives of others. We have hurt people tremendously. As David said in Psalm 51:3, “My sin is ever before me.” However, unlike David, sometimes we can’t seem to move on. Those past sins keep us held back. We cannot enjoy God’s blessings or move on with a better life. How do we overcome that? Forgiveness. Not simply receiving God’s forgiveness or the forgiveness of others. I’m talking about forgiving ourselves. In the past, we’ve looked at what forgiving ourselves means, now we need to ask how we can practically and actually accomplish it. Here are 11 practical steps to take in order to forgive yourself.
What I Have Learned About Preparing for Temptation: Part 4
Over the past two weeks, we have learned several activities and attitudes to prepare us for temptation:
- Bible Study
- Poverty of Spirit
You might be tempted to believe we are ready to face any temptation. (Then again, you might not, after all, I am writing another article.) There is one more preparation we need to make and it is illustrated in Acts 4:23.
Earlier in the chapter, Peter and John were arrested and taken before the rulers, elders, scribes, High Priest and many of the high-priestly family (Acts 4:5-6). The council charged the two apostles not to speak in Jesus’ name and then threatened them (Acts 4:18, 21). I’m sure these threats included imprisonment and physical harm. This is what we call temptation.
Then we read Acts 4:23. “When they were released, they went to their friends…” (ESV). They didn’t have to develop friends. They didn’t conduct a survey to see if anyone might be on their side. They already had friends on whom they could rely. They had already developed these relationships.
In order to prepare for temptation, we need to develop strong relationships with other Christians. If we wait until we face the temptation and then scan about for someone to help, it will be too late. Let’s face it, we are only comfortable making those kinds of calls and having those kinds of conversations when we have already developed a good, friendly, supportive relationship with someone.
I know I have often failed in this step of preparation and I’ve paid for it. The failure sometimes comes with good intentions. We believe we will simply rely on God to overcome temptation, but doing so forgets that God works through His children. Ephesians 3:20 reminds us God does great things by His power working in believers. The reality is, we are not really relying on God if we are not relying on God’s children. Further, we won’t rely on God’s children in our moment of need if we haven’t already developed a good relationship with them.
Ask this question. “If I was tempted to ___________ this week, who would I call to talk it over, pray and gain support to do the right thing?” If you’ve got several in mind, that’s great. Make sure you keep working on those relationships. If you don’t, stop everything and figure out some relationships you can develop to be ready.
Wrapping Up the Series
Remember, Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to devour you. Use these tools to help you prepare for temptation:
- Bible Study
- Poverty of Spirit