By: Rae Lynn DeAngelis

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

When I was a little girl, I had a major sweet tooth. Combine my weakness for sweets with the stockpiles of candy in my grandma’s home, and the stage was set for my fall into temptation.

While mom was busy visiting with my grandparents in another room, I seized the opportunity to restock my candy supply, stuffing handfuls of sugary treats into my purse.

I thought I was being sneaky, but in all likelihood, my grandmother noticed the significant gouge to her candy supply after each one of my visits. She never said anything, but then again she didn’t have to. I felt horribly guilty afterwards. Remorse gnawed away at my innards like a vulture feasting on road kill. I had to eat the candy in secret because if anyone saw me, they would surely ask where it came from.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my eating disorder behavior was developing. My actions may have seemed harmless, but in reality I was stealing food, eating in secret, hiding it from others, and feeling guilty about it—a familiar pattern that would follow me later in life.

Children learn to deceive very young. Deceptive kids become deceptive teenagers, and deceptive teenagers become deceptive adults, a ruse that becomes more dangerous and complex with the progression of age.

“‘Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:24)

God taught me that it is always best to be honest and own up to shortcomings. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but now I try hard to live according to God’s ways. Temptation will always find us because we live in a fallen world. Satan is on the prowl, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

So how can we stay strong and keep from falling during times of temptation?

First, identify your areas of weaknesses. (Satan already knows your weak areas and ruthlessly pursues ways to place you into positions of temptation, so be on guard.) Next, minimize your risks. (If you know something is a dangerous road for you to travel—don’t walk down it.) Finally, continuously tap into God’s strength through prayer. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Temptations will surely come, but we needn’t give in to them. The Lord is our strength.

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)