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It’s Not a Sin to Be Tempted
By Rick Warren

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Being on a broken planet means you will never outgrow temptation. But it's important to remember that it’s not a sin to be tempted. It's a sin to give in to temptations. You’re not a bad Christian because you have persistent temptations in your life. You’re human!

You're not responsible for the thoughts Satan puts in your mind from a thousand different stimuli. But you are responsible for what you do with them. You can choose not to dwell on a thought. You change your mind! You choose to think of something different. Then, you have not sinned because you didn’t act on your temptation.

Martin Luther said, "You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair." If you have a bad thought, don't be intimidated by it. Don’t beat yourself up. That’s what Satan wants you to do, because the more you get down on yourself, the more he can manipulate those negative emotions and lead you to sin. A thought is only a temptation. It’s your choice whether it turns into a sin.

You're going to be tempted the rest of your life. Even the oldest, most mature Christian in the world is still tempted. The mature Christian knows that the closer you get to God, the more Satan will throw at you, hoping something will stick. But the closer you get to God, the better prepared you are to face whatever Satan throws at you and to resist him.

Don’t be intimidated by Satan. As a Christian, you’ve got the Holy Spirit’s power in you. You’ve got God’s Word to give you truth. You’ve got Jesus to cry out to. You’ve got everything you need to overcome your temptations!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.