That word carries a lot of meaning. But we use it lightly in so many cases. It’s that thing that you want despite knowing it’s not good for you — dessert, for instance. How many times are we guilty of being tempted by dessert when it’s placed in front of us? How many times have we given into the “temptation” of that dessert only to enjoy every bite and then complain about our waistline because we gave in to that “temptation?” Oh we make excuses like “I just couldn’t resist” and some people even have a solution…they’ll just hit the gym and work off the temptation they succumbed to and that makes everything alright. Some don’t even worry about hitting the gym and working off the temptation…they just justify their waistline by saying “oh, well, I just love dessert and it’s the price I pay.

There are so many synonyms of the word temptation that we have let creep into our hearts that water down the spiritual meaning of temptation…..desire, urge, itch, impulse, inclination, lure, allurement, enticement, seduction, attraction, draw, pull, invitation, appeal, fascination

We as Christians have grown careless with that word when it comes to our spiritual well-being. We’ve become desensitized to the meaning. Today’s world has made so many things acceptable by telling us things like

  • Whatever Makes You Happy

  • You Deserve It

  • YOLO

  • You Do You

  • Follow Your Heart

We can’t listen to the world…. and we can’t let the youth fall prey to lies.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death” – James 1:14-15 (ESV)

Let’s stop for a moment and give credit where credit is due. We talked of temptation in terms of giving in to dessert. But that’s not where I’m going with this. I want to take a much deeper look at temptation and see it for what it really is. The world has tricked us into thinking temptations are just temporary struggles. You choose poorly but the world pats you on the back and tells you that it’s okay because, at the moment, you were happy. You deserved it at the time. You needed it. You only live once and you needed to experience that. LIES! Behind every temptation lies something that we seem to easily overlook nowadays. Satan! Satan himself!! And James tells us that when we give in to Satan, that sin grows until it brings forth our spiritual death.

We, as women in the church, need to be openly and honestly talking to the younger women about Satan.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”...1 Peter 5:8


The reality of Satan has been diluted like he’s just a concept. But we know that he IS real. He is an actuality, a fact, a reality. Some more appropriate synonyms that better fit his character are bait, decoy, snare, and trap. We have to start recognizing temptation as Satan himself and by doing so, it will make resisting even easier.

These present times require us to wake up and speak up. We must stop deceiving our own selves with these wishy-washy ideas of Satan and face the fact that he is out to get us. We need to put on the armor of God and then start calling temptation by its true name – Satan.

Let’s get out there and talk about him and educate the younger to recognize Satan when he comes calling…. when he just looks like something fascinating or appealing…. but to immediately recognize the disguise he has created to entice us into believing that it’s okay, you deserve it, you needed that experience, etc

But more importantly, not just teach them to recognize temptation for what it is- Satan – but to help instill in their hearts the word of God that gives us the confidence to overcome the temptations that are put before us by knowing that He is ready to help us overcome.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it”...ICorinthians 10:13

Let’s look at the positive side of temptation…. yes, there’s a positive. Temptations help us grow in our faith.

  • When we are challenged in our faith and overcome, we grow.

  • When we are challenged in our faith and we fail, but then turn back to Christ, we grow.

  • Each time we are tempted, it is a learning, growing, and faith-building experience.

  • Through temptations, we grow strong spiritually and learn to rely on God for the way of escape He has provided.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”…James 1:2-4

There is no better source to turn to than our Savior himself.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin”… Hebrews 4:15

We should never hide our struggles and temptations. How you handle them speaks volumes to those around you. What better way to teach the younger generation how to overcome Satan than by showing them what you are going through and how you are getting through it? Don’t just talk about your struggles…talk about how God is going to handle those struggles for you and how He gives you the tools to overcome them. Teach them to trust Him by showing them how to trust Him.

The word temptation does carry a lot of meaning. It’s time to stop using it so lightly. We are talking about the price of precious souls. We have to educate the younger generation on how to say no to Satan and to stop making excuses just because the world tells us it’s okay. Let the resisting of temptation grow you in your walk with Christ and let that growth be seen in you by others.

Melissa Thompson
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Melissa has been married for almost 35 years to her husband, Jeff, and has a close-knit family that loves the Lord. Jamie and her husband, Steve, live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with their three children - Oaklyn, Isla, and Luca. Kaylee and James live in Washington, Oklahoma, with their three children - Adelynn, Brynlee, and Caden. Justin and Sarah also live in Washington, Oklahoma, with their daughter - Mia. Those seven grandchildren are truly some of God's greatest blessings for Melissa and Jeff. Melissa has worked for a local school day photography company for over 25 years as a business manager and owns her own yearbook sales company. Melissa is passionate about the younger generation, knowing that it is the future of the Lord’s church. Because of that passion, she has spent many years counseling and teaching at different church camps. She also started the Oklahoma E.W.E.S. Camp for young Christian women, which she directed for ten years, and has recently passed the reins over to another director. Over the past 5 years, Melissa has worked with her husband alongside the college minister of Sooner Servants at Westside Church of Christ in Norman to encourage, teach, and help grow the faith of the college students passing through during their years in Norman.