When has temptation become sin

The question is usually raised in the Christian life about whether or not just being tempted is sin. This is difficult to answer because not everyone is tempted in the same way. There are those saved out of some pretty serious life threatening practices such as drugs. They know the power and influence of those things so well they know they must avoid them at all cost so as to avoid falling back into that culture. Others have no issues with drugs what-so-ever but are tempted with lust every time they just pass by a magazine rack. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that what might be viewed as harmless such as hate and lust were just as bad as the literal actions of murder and adultery. I agree with this and would add that there is a point in which temptation is just the temptation and not the actual sin. I believe our temptations turn to sin when we entertain, no matter how casually, the idea of giving in to the temptation. When temptation is before us and we are able to turn our thoughts, attention, or actions to something else or especially heaven-ward, maybe even in prayer asking that the temptation be removed, we have avoided the sin. Again it is hard to say just what the cutoff point is for any one sin per person, and so I would not venture to suggest one.

When has temptation become sin.


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