How To Avoid Sexual Temptation

Guard Yourself

Written by Dan Lee on 11/07/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Lust, Pornography, Sex, Temptation
“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.” Matthew 6:22

These words of Jesus tell us how important our eyes are, and how diligent we must be to watch what goes into our mind through our eyes. God’s word shows us several ways to do this:

1. Be Careful What You Look At
Jesus said, “anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). The first step to sexual temptation (and sometimes the sin itself) is looking.

Today’s world can be full of temptations for the eyes. Advertisements, movies and television, and things on the Internet can all lead us to sin. You must carefully choose what you watch and where you go. If seeing women in bathing suits makes you think lustful thoughts, then you need to stay away from the beach. If Internet pornography threatens to trap you, then stop surfing the web when you’re alone. (Matthew 18:8-9)

2. Guard Your Heart
King Solomon instructs us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23).

What is this verse telling us? That what we THINK about determines who we are, and what we do. Lustful thoughts lead to lustful actions. On the other hand, if you read, speak and think about God’s word often, he will renew your mind and your heart. (Also see Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:1-3)

3. Don’t Be Proud
“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). If you think you will never fall victim to a particular sin, that’s the time to be extra careful. Or, as Solomon again says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Remember above all that we don’t rely on our own strength, but on the Holy Spirit. God alone can give the power to make the right decisions and keep our lives free from sexual sin.

Pray this week:

Lord, I confess that it is so easy for me to sin sexually. I know that I am powerless to change, and that only You can give me victory through Your Holy Spirit’s power. I surrender this area of my life to You and trust that You will glorify Yourself through me as I walk closely with You. Amen.

Are you struggling with sexual temptation?

A woman is made in God’s image and her body is meant for His glory.

Do Not Commit Sexual Assault Or Harass Others
A woman is made in God’s image and her body is meant for His glory.

Written by Hope on 06/12/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Sex, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Temptation, Self Control
Tell the young men to have self-control in everything.

Titus 2:6
A woman is made in God’s image. Her body is meant to bring Him glory, not to become a source of ungodly lust.

God is working His unique plan in her life. Your life as a Christian man should exhibit the “self-controlled” fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), not the immoral ways of the flesh (Galatians 5:19). Even if you see her walking alone, even if she is wearing something provocative, even if she is sexually forward with you, resist temptations to be immoral in thought or deed. God has promised that He “will show you how to escape from your temptations” (I Corinthians 10:13). And He asks that you “offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing” (Romans 12:1).

God Commands Self-Control
In some societies, women are not permitted to leave their homes without a male relative. In others, women are blamed after being attacked by men, sometimes for wearing clothing that is ‘too provocative,’ or not trusted when they come forward with a story of sexual assault.

God’s Word says this is wrong! It is shameful for a man to brag about attacking or harassing women, and it is shameful to a community when such men go without facing consequences. Instead, God instructs His people repeatedly to behave with “self-control” (I Corinthians 7, I Timothy 3:2). Nowhere is it more difficult to have self-control than in the face of sexual temptation.

When Faced With Temptation To Torment
If you have the opportunity to take advantage of someone sexually, DON’T! Here are some ideas for avoiding temptation to commit sexual assault:

It is natural to recognise human beauty in a woman, and you can praise God for His work, without comment to the woman or to other men. Be truthful with yourself; if you feel lustful, acknowledge that sin before God and repent.
If you are often overcome with lust, discuss this with your pastor or another male friend who can help you move your focus to God.
When a woman is in public alone and it is appropriate to speak with her, limit yourself to a polite greeting. If you feel tempted to harass or sexually assault her, let God guide you to turn your attention elsewhere! If other men torment her, you can defend her, as appropriate; remember, “God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control” (II Timothy 1:7), and “if you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned” (James 4:17).
Simply put, treat every woman as respectfully you’d want a sister treated. Think of her as beloved by God: He has invested His image in her. His Son died for her sins, just as He did for yours. Your good behaviour will help “your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Maybe you know someone who has experienced sexual assault? Maybe you have been the victim yourself? It happens more often in some cultures than others. Be aware of the need to show grace to those who have been harmed and correction for those attitudes which allow abuse to continue.

Pray this week:

That God will embolden you to turn away from sexual temptation and to treat others respectfully.

Say Goodnight Gracie. Burns and Allen.

 

George Burns and Gracie Allen were a successful American comedy act for over forty years. Over the years, their talents extended from comedy to vaudeville to radio to film, and television. Part of Burns and Allen’s charm was that they were a married couple in real life as well as in many of their acts. The pair met in 1922 and were married in 1926. Throughout nearly all of their entertainment ventures, Burns always played the “straight man,” and Allen his foolish, silly wife. 

The couple’s first performance as a duo was at the Hill Street Theatre in Newark, New Jersey, and afterward, they brought their vaudeville act to other small town theaters.  They continued their signature roles, which at the time were known as a “Dumb Dora” stereotype. While they were best known for Allen as the foolish wife and Burns as the straight man, originally, the roles were reversed. For whatever reason, audiences seemed to find Gracie to be more humorous, so they switched the roles and relied on them for the next several decades. 

Burns’ and Allen’s careers truly took off when they began making movies. At the time, movie studios hired vaudeville actors to film short acts. As Burns and Allen had developed a reputation for being able to fill in for sick or absent performers, their big break came when they were able to fill in for Fred Allen’s act in the 1929 film Lambchop. Subsequent movies featuring the twosome included The Big Broadcast (1932) and its two sequels, A Damsel in Distress (1937), and Honolulu (1939), among other films. 

Their couple’s longest-running act became their radio show. While they appeared for the first time on the radio on the BBC in 1929, they wouldn’t begin their own show until 1934. Burns and Allen did experience minor setbacks, including a failed audition with NBC in 1930. Their luck turned in 1932 when they became regulars on The Guy Lombardo Show. 

When Guy Lombardo switched networks, Burns and Allen were able to take his time slot with their own show, The Adventures of Gracie. In 1936, the show was renamed The Burns and Allen Show. For a time, the show took the name of its sponsor, which was common at the time. Thus, from 1945-1949, it was known as Maxwell House Coffee Time. Over the years, the program was broadcast on both NBC and CBS. The radio show was extremely popular, and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1994. Ultimately, it ran from 1934-1950.

On air, Burns and Allen once again became known for their gags and jokes, as was their specialty. One favorite running gag involved Gracie hunting for her lost brother, and she’d even end up on shows on other networks, looking for him. Gracie was known for other stunts such as running for president on a fully nonsensical “Surprise” platform, which resulted in her receiving actual write-in votes on election day.

After years on air, the end of the radio show brought the beginning of a popular television show called  The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show which was also known as The Burns and Allen Show. The CBS television show was broadcast from 1950-1958. The half-hour show was a situation comedy and was extremely successful, receiving eleven Primetime nominations for Emmys. TV Guide ranked one episode of the show number 56 on its list of the 100 greatest episodes of all time (published in 1997).

The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show was initially filmed live, but eventually began being filmed in advance to increase efficiency. Over the eight years that it was broadcast, the show had four different producers and directors: Ralph Levy, Frederick de Cordova, and Rod Amateau. While the actors remained for the most part consistent, the husband of Bea Benaderet’s Blanche Morton (who was also featured on the Burns and Allen radio show) was ultimately played by four different actors.

The show handled this inconsistency of actors in an upfront manner. When actor Fred Clark left the show, mid-episode, his replacement, Larry Keating, was brought on stage and introduced to Bea Benaderet as her new husband. After the two exchanged pleasantries and small talk in keeping with that of two people who have just met, Larry Keating resumed the role of her husband Harry throughout the rest of the episode, and nothing more was said on the matter. Such antics were in keeping with the show’s humor and charm. Other characters on the show included Burns and Allen’s real-life children, Ronnie and Sandra, who were adopted by the couple in 1935 and 1934.

As in their vaudeville act and radio show, Gracie played the zany wife to George’s strait-laced demeanor, and the show thus featured a number of their signature running gags. For example, the couple’s home features a closet full of hats, as guests were constantly rushing out their door and leaving their accessories behind in order to get away from Gracie’s antics. The show was also unique in that George himself would watch the show take place, either from outside (in the live episodes) or on the TV in his study (in the later seasons). He would even break the fourth wall and address the viewer directly in order to comment on the show’s happenings The sets for the show looked similar to Burns’ & Allen’s real-life residence on Maple Drive in Beverly Hills, California. Fans of the show can drive past and see that house today, as it still exists. Burns himself was a resident of the home until 1996, when he died at age 100. 

After decades of success entertaining fans live, on the radio, in the movies, and on television, Burns and Allen retired from their television show in 1958. Gracie Allen embraced retirement and became a gardener and housewife and, as Burns is quoted as saying, “She deserved a rest.” 

George Burns was able to keep acting for one more year on his own program, The George Burns Show until he, too, retired in 1959. Though this last venture lasted only one year, Burns and Allen will be fondly remembered for over forty years of entertainment, an accomplishment of which few can boast.

 

Please visit our Facebook page Good Old Days  for more memories.

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