“Sometimes fleeing temptation means removing myself physically from a situation where the temptation to sin is great. With regard to some movies, for example, fleeing temptation may well mean leaving the room (or better yet, checking out the movie’s content before exposing yourself to the temptation). Sometimes fleeing temptation means removing myself electronically from compromising situations. I flee temptation when I install software to prevent viewing pornography on my computer.”
(Robert Spinney – Reformation 21) Satan tempts us to not fear sin, so that we will not keep a safe distance from it.
[Thomas] Brooks characterized this strategy as “making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin.” Like many of the devil’s lies, it distorts a truth, namely that temptation is not sin. The Christian who is tempted only sins when he surrenders to the temptation; being outwardly tempted is not a sin. But the Tempter twists this truth into an untruth that says that there is no harm in getting close to sin or exposing yourself to temptations, so long as you don’t take the final step and do the sin. It goes like this:
“You need not keep a safe distance from sin. You are strong enough to resist temptation; you are strong enough to go near sin without falling into it. You need not avoid compromising situations. Sin is not so strong, and you are not that weak.”
Here’s how Brooks expressed this temptation:
“Saith Satan You may walk by the harlot’s door though you won’t go into the harlot’s bed; you may sit and sup with the drunkard, though you won’t be drunk with the drunkard … you may with Achan handle the golden wedge, though you do not steal the golden wedge.”
This is #7 in a series that’s published over at Reformation 21