Read: Hebrews 4:15
Imagine this. During prayer, you feel challenged to live a healthier lifestyle, so you make a simple plan to only eat one dessert a week. You’re at work, and there is cake in the café, but you already had your treat yesterday. You walk past the café, look, and then keep walking.
New scenario. Porn shows up while you’re searching something else on the Internet. You see it, look away, and close the tab. Was it sin in either situation? No. Were both a temptation? Yes. Would our enemy try to use both situations to bring back feelings of defeat? Yes. Would it be a sin to give in and go back for more? Absolutely.
Just reading this may have caused you to feel shame. Our enemy uses false guilt as a tactic to make temptation more powerful. But, there is really good news. Temptation went up against Jesus with everything it had, and it lost. This is big news for us sinners for three reasons. First, Jesus empathizes with our struggle because He’s been tempted in every way. Second, He’s already conquered our greatest temptations and knows the way out. Finally, if Jesus—Who is without sin—was tempted, then it’s not a sin to be tempted.
Finally, if Jesus—Who is without sin—was tempted, then it’s not a sin to be tempted.
Consider: How often does false guilt trick you into giving in? How will you bring today’s realization into the moment of your next temptation?