Lasting Consequences

Solomon concluded this discussion of sexual temptation by considering additional consequences. He noted that when a man steals in order to keep from starving, most people empathize with his situation. Even so, empathy doesn’t remove the demand for justice. His community may feel sorry for his desperate choice, but they will neither excuse his sin nor set aside the victim’s right to receive complete restitution multiplied by seven!

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Reasons to Avoid Temptation

We’ve discussed what things to avoid and we’ve thought about how to avoid them, but we haven’t explored the question of why we should stand strong against temptation. Why did Solomon take such a hard line on resisting lust’s appeal? Without the slightest hesitation, the wise man set forth the truth, which so few people stop to consider today.

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Plan for Purity

Solomon warned his son to avoid the wiles of a temptress and gave him four practical instructions to help him. The first two—“Stay away from evil people” and “Guard against the smooth tongue that invites you in”—focus on the external component of temptation. That is, these instructions tell us to place distance between us and the potential lure and fulfillment of sin.

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Flee Temptation

While virtually every outlet in popular media bombards us with sexually oriented material—a phenomenon that previous generations didn’t experience—we also face another danger: the opportunities to commit adultery have never been more prevalent. Furthermore, we live in a society that is more accommodating than ever. In addition to the normal temptations that occur in everyday life, we can go online to a dating service for married people seeking affairs!

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Battleground Brain

Solomon was a straight shooter. I find that rather refreshing in our day of vague definitions and bold rationalizations. The words you just read are timeless and no less relevant today than when the ink was still wet. The battle against lustful temptations hasn’t declined in the millennia since the wise, fatherly king warned his own children. In fact, we could make the case that temptations are far more numerous today.

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The Bitter Price of Secret Sin

David’s celebration of God’s forgiveness takes a dark turn as he recalls his anguished past. He remembers—perhaps accompanied by a gloomy minor key—the days of misery he spent in the isolation of secret sin. Reflection on Past Sins: When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away. Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

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A Life-or-Death Matter

Make no mistake! Your heart is under siege. Like marauding hordes surrounding a fortress, advertisers, porn moguls, and media mavens scheme to find a point of entry. They lob projectiles and drop subtle baits, looking for weaknesses, and shout taunts, hoping to gain an entrance. They want in so they can bring you under their subjection. At first glance, you may think I’m being overly dramatic.

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For Righteous Living

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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Temptation

May I remind you of four of the more powerful perils that can level even the mightiest? They are fortune, fame, power, and pleasure. Each works overtime to win a hearing, to gain a foothold, to woo us in. Whether subliminal, subtle, strong, or supreme, these messages search for chinks in our armor as they appeal to our natural appetites.

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For Godliness in a Godless Culture

Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list.

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