When it comes to temptation, the struggle is real—not just for our students but for us as leaders as well. As we guide our students toward resisting the things that may not be God’s best for them, we can’t ignore the fact that we too must fight to do the same thing in our own lives. As we know from experience, turning away from what isn’t best in favor of what we hope will turn out to be the best is one of the greatest struggles in our walk with God.

As we all work to navigate the twisting road of temptation, we can find strength in remembering that temptation isn’t from God. Sometimes half the battle is simply recognizing the real enemy we’re fighting. As the book of James says:

And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

—James 1:13–15 (NLT)

When we’re facing temptation of any kind, the first thing we can do is call out the real enemy: call it what it is. Name it temptation—something designed to pull you away from God’s best for your life. Then remember that we have the power to fight against it thanks to God. When we keep our eyes on what’s true—what’s of God—we’ll find renewed strength to fight the things tempting us to turn away.

When you find yourself feeling tempted this week, stop and call it what it is—temptation! Then pray for God’s strength to help you keep your eyes on His truth and walk away from what’s threatening to pull you away from Him.


We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.
Ralph Waldo Emerson