Summary: Temptation and true love—Are you having trouble resisting the temptation to sin with someone you like or love? This online Bible study on true love and resisting temptation will give you a powerful tool by showing you what true love is (and isn’t). When you truly love someone, you want the best for him or her, not what feels right at the moment.
Summary: If you love someone, you want the best for him or her, not what “feels good.”
Doug Britton Books
Practical • Biblical • Cross-Cultural
Love does not delight in evil. (1 Corinthians 13:6)
Temptation and true love — Introduction
The struggle against temptation can be hard. We often are tempted to do something wrong, and we face an inner conflict: We want to do it, but we also don’t want to do it.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15)
One of the best ways to avoid sinning with other people is to truly love them. If you love someone, you will not do anything to hurt him or her. Clearly, the most harmful thing you can do to someone is to tempt him or her to sin and thus push this person away from God.
Sin is the expression of selfishness or self-will. True love is the alternative to selfishness. If you truly love people, you will not commit sin with them or tempt them to commit sin. This Bible study will show you how to resist temptation—by choosing the path of love.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)
What is true love?
True love wants the best for the other person. To better understand this, study 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. True love is not just an emotion, but rather it is an attitude. It is wanting the best for the other person.
True love is a decision that results in loving actions. When you truly love others, your actions will be pure and blameless.
True love is different from love based on hormones or emotions. True love turns people toward God, not toward sin and away from God. True love genuinely wants the best for others. It is not focused on pleasing yourself or being ruled by your emotions.
Beware of counterfeit love
If you want to sin with someone because you think you are in love, you don’t love this person as much as you think. Don’t let your emotions, hormones, daydreams, desires, or selfishness masquerade as love.
For example, if you think you love someone who is married to someone else and are tempted to have an affair, or if you want that person to divorce so you can marry, you do not truly love him or her. If you really loved the other person, you wouldn’t encourage him or her to sin.
Along the same lines, if you are engaged and feel like being sexually intimate, demonstrate your love by waiting until you are married before becoming sexually intimate.
Related: Bible study on counterfeit freedom
When tempted, choose to truly love the other person
Take the path of love any time you are tempted to sin with someone. Whether your temptation is to have sex, divorce your spouse to be with someone else, gossip, gamble, take drugs, get drunk, tell dirty jokes, spend money foolishly, or anything else, choose to overcome it because you truly love someone and want to be the best friend you can be. Choose true love. Don’t let yourself be controlled by your feelings or desires
If you are tempted to sin with a Christian:
Ask God to help you see him or her as your brother or sister. If you are tempted to sin sexually, look at him or her as a precious brother or sister in Christ, not a sex object.
Treat … older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
If you are tempted to sin with a non-Christian:
Ask God to help you look at non-Christians as people who need to know Jesus, people who need to be saved, instead of sinning with them and driving them further from God. Pray for their salvation.
Pray for God to help you have true love and a genuine concern for others. Ask him to help you overcome any temptation to sin with others by truly loving them.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are from the 1984 New International Version.
Copyright © 2007, 2016 Doug Britton. (Permission granted to print for personal use.)