Select Page

Growing up in a religious household, the question “What Would Jesus Do?” was always at the forefront of my mind. As I delved deeper into my faith, I realized that answering this question was not as simple as it seemed. In this article, I will explore the concept of “What Would Jesus Do?” and its significance in resisting temptation. Along the way, I will share personal anecdotes and insights that have shaped my understanding of this age-old question. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s embark on this journey of self-reflection together.

What Would Jesus Do? And Resisting Temptation

Understanding the Concept ‘What Would Jesus Do?’

Origin and development of the phrase

The phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) originated from a novel written by Charles Sheldon in 1896 titled “In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?”. The book tells the story of a group of people who vowed to live their lives in alignment with Jesus’ teachings and principles. The phrase quickly gained popularity and became a powerful question to ask oneself in various situations.

Importance of the phrase in Christian teachings

The phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” holds great significance in Christian teachings. It serves as a reminder to Christians to live a life that reflects the character and teachings of Jesus Christ. It encourages believers to think critically about their actions and choices, and to strive to embody the love, compassion, and selflessness that Jesus demonstrated during his time on Earth.

How the phrase is used in modern times

In modern times, the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” has become a popular motto and a guiding principle for many Christians. It serves as a moral compass and a tool for decision-making in various aspects of life, including relationships, work, and social justice issues. The phrase encourages Christians to seek guidance from the life and teachings of Jesus when faced with difficult choices or challenges.

Contextual interpretations of ‘What Would Jesus Do?’

While the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” provides a helpful framework for decision-making, it is essential to recognize that different contexts may require nuanced interpretations. The teachings of Jesus encompass a wide range of principles, and applying them in a specific situation may require discernment and balancing multiple factors. It is crucial to consider the cultural, historical, and social context in which Jesus lived and adapt his teachings to contemporary circumstances while remaining true to the core principles of love, justice, and mercy.

Biblical Perspective of Temptation

Temptation in the Old Testament

Temptation can be traced back to the earliest stories in the Old Testament. The first instance of temptation is found in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent to eat from the forbidden tree. This act of disobedience resulted in the Fall and marked the introduction of sin into the world. Throughout the Old Testament, individuals faced various forms of temptation, such as Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac and Joseph’s resistance against Potiphar’s wife.

Temptation in the New Testament

In the New Testament, temptation is portrayed as a significant struggle for both Jesus and his followers. Jesus himself was tempted in the wilderness for forty days and nights, where he countered Satan’s temptations with the word of God. The apostle Paul also wrote extensively about the internal struggle between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit, emphasizing the need for self-control and reliance on the power of God to resist temptation.

Notable instances where biblical figures faced temptations

Numerous biblical figures faced significant temptations throughout their journeys. For instance, David faced the temptation of power and succumbed to his desires with Bathsheba. Moses struggled with anger, which led to disobedience when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God commanded. These instances serve as reminders that even the most righteous individuals are susceptible to temptation and the importance of seeking God’s strength to resist.

Biblical teachings on resisting temptation

The Bible provides guidance on how to resist temptation. James 4:7 advises believers to submit themselves to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from them. Additionally, 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures that God will not allow his followers to be tempted beyond what they can bear, but will provide a way out. These teachings highlight the necessity of relying on God’s strength, seeking His guidance, and utilizing the tools He has provided to overcome temptations.

What Would Jesus Do? And Resisting Temptation

Jesus’ Approach to Resisting Temptation

Example from Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness

Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness serves as a powerful example of his approach to resisting temptation. After forty days of fasting, Satan tempted Jesus with the desires of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust for power. However, Jesus countered each temptation by quoting the Scriptures and relying on the word of God. This demonstrated not only Jesus’ deep knowledge and understanding of God’s Word but also the importance of using Scripture as a source of strength and guidance in moments of testing.

Jesus’ teachings on overcoming temptations

Jesus emphasized the need for vigilance and the necessity of actively resisting temptation. In his teachings, he encouraged his followers to be watchful and prayerful, recognizing the frailty of human nature. For example, in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus included the phrase, “Lead us not into temptation,” acknowledging the reality of temptation and the need for divine intervention to navigate through it successfully.

Practical ways Jesus implemented resistance in his life

Jesus demonstrated the practical application of resistance to temptation in his everyday life. He sought solitude to pray and seek guidance from his Father, Jesus prioritized his relationship with God, recognizing that it was through communion with Him that he could find strength to overcome temptations. Additionally, Jesus surrounded himself with a community of disciples who supported and encouraged him in his ministry, demonstrating the importance of accountability and fellowship in resisting temptations.

Life lessons we can learn from Jesus’ responses to temptation

Jesus’ responses to temptation offer valuable life lessons for believers today. His reliance on God’s Word, his commitment to prayer, and his intentional cultivation of a supportive community all provide practical guidance for navigating temptations. By embracing these practices, believers can experience spiritual growth, deepen their relationship with God, and find the strength to resist the allure of temptation.

Practical Steps to Resisting Temptation Today

Temptations in the context of modern life

In the modern world, temptations are prevalent in various forms. Materialism, lust, greed, and instant gratification are just a few examples of temptations that individuals often face. The hyper-connected digital age has also introduced new temptations, such as excessive use of social media and pornography addiction. Recognizing these temptations and their potential impact on our lives is the first step toward resisting them effectively.

Identifying personal areas of temptation

To resist temptation, it is crucial to identify personal areas of vulnerability. Each individual may have different areas where they struggle the most. By self-reflecting and seeking God’s guidance, one can gain insight into their weaknesses and develop strategies to overcome temptation effectively. This self-awareness allows individuals to be proactive rather than reactive when faced with temptations.

Applying Jesus’ approaches in everyday situations

The approaches that Jesus employed to resist temptation can be applied in everyday situations. Firstly, developing a habit of regular prayer and seeking God’s guidance can help individuals find clarity and strength when confronted with temptation. Secondly, immersing oneself in Scripture and building a foundation of biblical knowledge equips believers to respond to temptations effectively. Finally, cultivating a supportive community or accountability group provides encouragement and assistance in resisting temptations.

Ways to stay accountable and consistent in resisting temptation

Staying accountable and consistent in resisting temptation requires intentional effort. It can be helpful to find a trusted friend, mentor, or spiritual leader who can serve as an accountability partner. Regular check-ins, honest conversations, and sharing struggles help maintain transparency and foster a supportive environment. Additionally, implementing personal disciplines such as fasting, prayer, and regular Scripture study strengthen the resolve to resist temptations and foster growth in one’s faith journey.

What Would Jesus Do? And Resisting Temptation

Role of Prayer in Resisting Temptation

Biblical teachings about prayer and temptation

Prayer plays a vital role in resisting temptation, as highlighted in various biblical teachings. Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, exemplified the power of prayer in facing temptation, as he surrendered his will to the Father. Additionally, Jesus emphasized the need for constant prayer to avoid falling into temptation and to remain vigilant against the schemes of the enemy.

Practical ways to incorporate prayer when tempted

When faced with temptation, incorporating prayer can help believers find strength and seek guidance from God. Whether it is a short, spontaneous prayer or a dedicated time of intercession, prayer provides an avenue to connect with the divine and invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into one’s life. Praying for wisdom, discernment, and the ability to resist temptation aligns one’s heart and intentions with God’s will.

Examples of prayer strategies for overcoming temptation

Several prayer strategies can be employed to overcome temptation effectively. The first is the prayer of surrender, where individuals humbly submit their desires, weaknesses, and struggles to God, inviting Him to work in and through their lives. The second is the prayer for strength, where believers specifically ask God to grant them the power to resist temptation and to offer a way out. Finally, the prayer for wisdom seeks divine guidance and discernment to navigate through challenging situations.

Connections between ongoing prayer and increased resistance

A consistent prayer life cultivates spiritual growth and increases resistance against temptation. Regular communication with God through prayer fosters a deeper relationship with Him. This intimacy strengthens the individual’s faith, making them more resilient against the allure of temptation. Additionally, ongoing prayer provides a constant reminder of God’s presence and the need to rely on His strength, allowing believers to remain vigilant and steadfast in their resistance.

Role of Fasting in Overcoming Temptation

Understanding biblical fasting

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that involves voluntarily abstaining from food or certain activities for a specific period. In the Bible, fasting is often associated with seeking God, repentance, and spiritual transformation. It is a practice that helps believers align their priorities with God’s and cultivate a deeper connection with Him.

How fasting aids in resisting temptation

Fasting can aid in resisting temptation in several ways. Firstly, it serves as a tangible reminder of one’s commitment to seek God’s strength and guidance. By willingly depriving oneself of physical nourishment, believers demonstrate their reliance on God and their desire to prioritize spiritual nourishment. Fasting also helps individuals develop self-discipline, which plays a crucial role in resisting temptations. Lastly, fasting allows believers to focus more on prayer and meditation, creating an environment conducive to spiritual growth and resistance against temptation.

Practical guidance for fasting today

When engaging in fasting as a means of resisting temptation, it is essential to do so with wisdom and discernment. Individuals should consult with their healthcare provider, especially if they have any pre-existing medical conditions. It is also important to set specific goals and parameters for the fast, such as duration and type of fasting (e.g., water-only, partial fast, etc.). Fasting should be accompanied by prayer and deep reflection, allowing for introspection and seeking God’s guidance.

Benefits of incorporating fasting in spiritual disciplines

Incorporating fasting as a spiritual discipline offers numerous benefits beyond resisting temptation. It creates a space for believers to draw closer to God, experience spiritual breakthroughs, and increase their sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Fasting also helps individuals develop self-control, gratitude, and empathy, enhancing their overall spiritual well-being. Furthermore, it can serve as a powerful means of intercession, as believers offer their sacrifice as a form of praying for God’s intervention in their lives and in the world around them.

What Would Jesus Do? And Resisting Temptation

Use of Scripture in Overcoming Temptation

The ‘sword of the Spirit’ and temptation

The Bible refers to itself as the “sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17, highlighting its significance in spiritual warfare, including resisting temptation. Scripture is a powerful weapon that believers can utilize to counter the lies and temptations of the enemy. It serves as a source of truth, guidance, and encouragement, providing believers with the necessary armor to withstand and overcome temptations.

Jesus’ use of scripture during his temptation

During his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus consistently used Scripture to counter the temptations presented by Satan. Each time Satan twisted the truth, Jesus responded with an appropriate verse from the Old Testament, highlighting the authority and power of God’s Word. Jesus’ example demonstrates the importance of being well-versed in Scripture, as it equips believers to discern truth from deception and effectively resist temptations.

How to effectively apply scripture in temptation situations

To effectively apply Scripture in temptation situations, believers must first cultivate a habit of regular Bible study and memorization. This practice enables them to internalize God’s Word and recall it in moments of testing. When confronted with temptation, individuals can turn to relevant passages that specifically address their struggle. By meditating on these verses, reflecting on their meaning, and praying for understanding, believers can tap into the transformative power of Scripture to combat temptation.

Examples of powerful scriptures for overcoming temptation

The Bible offers numerous powerful scriptures that can be utilized in overcoming temptation. Psalm 119:11 states, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” highlighting the importance of memorizing Scripture. Matthew 4:4 quotes Jesus, saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” emphasizing the significance of relying on God’s Word rather than worldly desires. These and other verses can serve as anchors of truth and guidance for believers when facing temptations.

Church and Community’s Role in Resisting Temptation

Biblical teachings on community and temptation

The Bible emphasizes the importance of community and accountability in resisting temptation. Hebrews 10:24-25 urges believers to consider how to spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together but encouraging one another. The apostle Paul also emphasized the need for the body of Christ to bear one another’s burdens and restore those caught in temptation, demonstrating the loving and supportive nature of Christian community.

Benefits of a supportive community in resistance

A supportive community plays a vital role in the resistance of temptation. Fellow believers can offer encouragement, counsel, and accountability, creating a safe space where struggles can be shared without judgment. The support of a community bolsters one’s resolve, provides perspective, and fosters growth in faith. It also reminds individuals that they are not alone in their struggles and that victory over temptation is possible with the help of God and others.

Creating a safe and accountable environment for sharing

Creating a safe and accountable environment within a church or community requires intentional effort. Leaders can foster a culture of vulnerability and acceptance by openly acknowledging their own struggles and modeling humility. Small group settings can provide a platform for individuals to share their temptations, seek guidance, and receive support from fellow believers. Establishing trust, confidentiality, and mutual respect are fundamental in creating a safe space where individuals feel comfortable sharing their struggles.

How the church can better support individuals fighting temptation

The church can better support individuals fighting temptation by addressing the topic openly and actively providing resources and guidance. Church leaders can incorporate teachings on temptation and offer practical tools for resistance in their sermons and discipleship programs. Encouraging small group discussions, workshops, and mentoring relationships specifically focused on resisting temptation can equip individuals with the necessary skills and spiritual support to overcome their struggles.

Relating to Others Struggling with Temptation

Understanding and empathizing with others’ struggles

Relating to others struggling with temptation requires understanding and empathy. Recognizing that temptation is a universal experience can help create a sense of solidarity and compassion. Acknowledging the complexity of individual struggles and avoiding judgment creates an environment where individuals feel safe to open up about their temptations. By stepping into the shoes of others, listening attentively, and withholding judgment, believers can extend grace and support to those facing temptation.

Practical ways to support others in their resistance

Supporting others in their resistance to temptation involves walking alongside them and providing encouragement and accountability. Practically, this can include regular check-ins, offering prayer support, and providing resources or recommendations for personal growth. Additionally, engaging in meaningful conversations about personal struggles, shared experiences, and victories facilitates a sense of understanding and normalizes the process of overcoming temptation.

How to encourage a ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ approach in others

Encouraging a “What Would Jesus Do?” approach in others requires gentle guidance and fostering a culture of discipleship. By modeling the approach oneself and sharing personal experiences, individuals can inspire and influence others to consider how Jesus would respond in their own situations. Encouraging regular Scripture reading, prayer, and reflection also help individuals develop a deeper understanding of Jesus’ teachings and their application in everyday life.

Creating a dialogue about temptation in the church and the community

Creating a dialogue about temptation in the church and the community involves breaking the stigma and providing a safe space for open discussion. Church leaders can initiate conversations about common temptations faced by believers and offer guidance on how to navigate them. Small group settings, workshops, or recovery programs focused on overcoming specific temptations can provide opportunities for individuals to share their struggles and seek support from others on a similar journey.

Understanding the Grace of God in Our Struggles

Understanding God’s grace according to the Bible

The concept of God’s grace is central to the Christian faith. Grace refers to God’s unmerited favor and love toward humanity, despite our shortcomings and failures. It is through God’s grace that believers receive forgiveness, redemption, and the assurance of eternal life. The Bible repeatedly highlights the boundless nature of God’s grace and the transformation it brings to those who receive it with a repentant heart.

How God’s grace helps us in our struggles and failures

God’s grace is a source of comfort, strength, and hope in moments of struggle and failure. It is through the realization of God’s unconditional love and acceptance that individuals find the courage to confront their temptations and seek forgiveness. God’s grace assures believers that their mistakes do not define them and that they can find restoration and healing through genuine repentance and reliance on God’s unfailing love and grace.

Learning from our mistakes and growing in our spiritual journey

Our mistakes and shortcomings offer opportunities for growth and transformation in our spiritual journey. Recognizing our limitations and weaknesses allows us to seek God’s guidance and depend on His strength rather than relying on our own abilities. By humbly acknowledging our failures, we open ourselves to God’s transformative work in our lives, shaping us into individuals who increasingly reflect the character of Jesus Christ.

The Hope and Assurance we have in Jesus amidst our struggles

In the midst of struggles and temptations, believers can find hope and assurance in Jesus. He empathizes with our humanity and understands the challenges we face, having experienced temptation himself. His perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection offer hope for overcoming sin and its consequences. Through faith in Jesus, believers can have confidence that His grace is sufficient to sustain them and that He will be faithful to help them navigate through their struggles.

In conclusion, the concept of “What Would Jesus Do?” serves as a foundational principle for Christians, reminding them to strive to align their actions and choices with the teachings and character of Jesus Christ. Resisting temptation is a recurring theme throughout the Bible, and believers can draw inspiration from biblical figures, Jesus’ example, and practical steps such as prayer, fasting, scripture engagement, and community support. Understanding God’s grace and relying on it amidst struggles provides believers with hope, assurance, and the motivation to continue pursuing a life that honors God.