What summer activities can young Christians become involved in order to help them enjoy their summer without the headache of dealing with temptations? My first response is there are none! It seems that temptations are everywhere. Even when attending church services, Bible study, a rated G movie, shopping in the mall, having lunch with a friend, or leisurely jogging in the park, temptations lurk.
Temptation by definition involves being tempted to do wrong, sin, or submitting to what seems attractive even though it may not be right. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 7:14-25 just how difficult it is to resist temptation “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” [Romans 7:19].
A key attribute to have before entering any activity is to be prayerful, and to be confident in the knowledge of Christ while trying to follow His examples. In that regard, as Christians, we choose activities that would minimize temptations. We are reminded again by the words of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians to avoid sin: put away lying, be angry and sin not, neither give place to the devil, give to him that needs, let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, be kind to one another [Ephesians 4:25-32].
Spending time with my daughter and my boyfriend; participating in community service projects, reading, and exercising are my personal choices.
Choosing activities that provide the opportunity to help someone else (working with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at Stew Pot, tutoring a child who may be struggling academically, visiting the elderly and sick, or those who are in prison) will help maintain a focus on Christ, who went about doing good.
While I was in college there were many temptations. It seems that after graduation there surfaced a new type of spiritual warfare; the real world spiritual warfare. The good news is that the battle is not ours alone.
Studying God’s Word empowers the Spirit; thus, preparing us for the battles to be faced. “Lord, help me” has become my favorite statement. Actually, it becomes more than a statement but a plea to the One and only Savior who can truly help and guide us in all of our choices; be they activities that will steer us from temptations or most importantly steer us towards Christ.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit-Galatians 5:25
Mary Elizabeth Gilbert is a 2007 graduate of Tougaloo College who majored in Psychology. A resident of Ridgeland, she is aspiring to be an educator.