I have an ordinary TV and I have 30 free to air channels to choose from – not all of them are good. Luckily, my TV has a function that allows me to block unwanted channels – I use this to protect myself and my family. For example, because I know I am impulsive, I choose to block shopping channels like ‘SpreeTV’ so I am not influenced by them. We Christians are like TVs; we too have many ‘channels’ open to us. We need to filter stuff that goes into our hearts and heads. But sometimes the thoughts come from within – what do we do then? Martin Luther has thoughts on this.
When a young man lamented before the hermit that he often had evil thoughts about unchastity and other sins, the old man responded: “You cannot prohibit the birds from flying over your head; but make sure they stay in the air and do not build a nest in your hair.” Let your thoughts be and remain thoughts; but do not let them turn into a resolution to act. For this is the manner of those who despair (like Saul, Judas, and others) who turn thoughts into resolutions.
This is a great strategy and is supported by the scriptures.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10)
Knowing God is faithful and wants us to succeed spiritually, let us be disciplined and diligent.