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Sometimes we think of the Bible as a book of “don’ts”; don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t lie, don’t kill etc.

Now we might THINK that, but when we read Jesus’ re-teaching of the Old Testament (Mathew 5-7, Luke, we find he took all the “don’ts” and turned them into “do’s”!

As I was preparing for chapel this week (which was about being tempted to make harmful choices – ask your kids about it), I picked up my modern translation of Martin Luther’s small summary of Bible teaching (called a “catechism”) and was hit with a revelation as I read it. Martin Luther’s summary effectively shares a great way to deal with the temptation to make bad choices:

“when you are tempted to make a bad choice – do the opposite!”.

  • Tempted to hurt someone – go and help them!
  • Tempted to cheat someone – go and give them a gift!
  • Tempted to lie – go and tell the truth!
  • Tempted to steal – go and give to a charity!

And even when we do make bad choices, we don’t have to stay stuck making the bad choice over and over – we can come clean, admit our wrongs, get help and with God’s forgiveness start again.

So, remember: when you are tempted to make a bad choice – do the opposite!

Pastor Stephen Abraham