5 Tips For Dealing with Lust During Exam Season
Most students are currently writing exams in this period. That means we barely have time for much apart from revising and probably also feeling quite stressed. For a lot of people, this is the time when they struggle with lust the most. I have been there, I also have ‘beyond surface’ conversations with a lot of young people, so I know. I know that the urge to masturbate, watch porn and hug that boy/girl is usually stronger when you are stressed or under a lot of pressure.
Based on personal experience and different conversations that I have had, I came up with 5 tips to deal with sexual temptation both during and after the exam season.
1, Recognise that you have a problem. If you have not admitted that lust is a problem and even a sin, you will most likely not want to reach out for help or even accept that you need help. God draws near to the broken hearted but you can only be broken hearted about your sin if you recognise that you are wrong and you need a greater power to help you. Why would you want to repent from something that is not wrong? We may never escape the temptation, but you can be free from the sin. By constantly recognising that you have a weakness, and you are vulnerable in a certain area, you become more driven to trust in the Lord, who is your strength and yield to Him to help you overcome sin.
2, Find an accountability partner and surround yourself with community. I think we sometimes miss out on the power we have because we are part of the body of Christ. Sin strives in secrecy. When we take practical steps like sharing our weakness with someone who can challenge us to be better, become accountable to us and even pray for us, it will go a long way to help us. Find someone you can call when you are horny…preferably someone of the same sex. Someone you can call for prayers or a quick bible study when you feel like watching porn. Someone that will check on you to see how you are dealing with lust and how you are managing stress. This person may be a friend, a pastor, or a Christian leader around you. As long as they have your best interests at heart and you are willing to grow, accountability will go a long way to help you.
If you are struggling with porn, covenant eyes provides fantastic services to help you deal with it. Their services includes monitoring your online activity and sending a report to a trusted friend who holds you accountable for your online choices. This promotes accountability and conversations. They also have very honest and practical posts about his issue.
YouVersion also has amazing plans for people struggling with porn and other sexual issues. One that I constantly recommend to girls that I know are struggling with porn is the ‘Freedom from porn for women‘. These are services provided by the body of Christ, and I am sure there are many more out there.
3, Stay away from environments and things that trigger desires that don’t honour God. We need to be radical in dealing with everything that could cause us to dishonour our body and disobey God (“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away” Matt. 5:29). When you know you are stressed and would most likely be unable to walk away if the opposite sex tries to be intimate with you, then maybe you should not be alone with someone of the opposite sex. Maybe, you shouldn’t be listening or watching shows songs and movies that trigger lust and other ungodly desires in you. You can only stay away from environments and things that trigger desires that don’t honour God. Ask yourself, what desires do I struggle with the most? What impact does this person, environment or thing I am listening to have on these desires? Does it reduce the desire or fan it even more?
4, Don’t neglect your time with God. During the exam period, we can be so busy with a lot of things that we actually forget God’s place in our life. We wake up early and go to bed really late because we are revising but don’t have time set aside to spend with God. But if we are not meditating on the word and spending time with God, we are opening our heart and lives to someone else who is not God. No matter how full a bus is, the driver will always have a seat. No matter how busy you are, because God is important to you, He should always have priority in your life. This means that you still make out time to study the word, pray and spend time with other believers. I am a final year student and I know how almost impossible this can be, but I also know how absolutely important it is. When we spend time with God in the period when we are most stressed, we not only guard ourselves from sin, we also find perspective for our exam and sometimes greater insight into what you are studying.
5, When we have the word of God hidden in our heart and it has become life to us, we will be able to overcome sin. If you are struggling with any ungodly desires especially lust this exam season, you should find scriptures related to lust and meditate on them. When the enemy tries to attack your desires, you have the word of God which is a sword to fight back. However, you can only fight back if this sword is on your tongue and in your heart.
Sin that we don’t deal with, will continue to have a stronger hold on our lives and grow to a point that we struggle in our intimacy with God and even other people. Lust may seem like something you only struggle with when you are stressed or have exams, but the effect of the ungodly desire may still be there even after the stressful exam period. It is very important to remember that our body is the temple of God, so we need to be on guard at all times. Guarding our emotions and what we allow through our senses so we can continuously glorify God and live consecrated lives.
Some scriptures you can meditate on:
Romans 6:13– Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness.
James 4:7– So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Ephesians 4:24 – Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Galatians 5:1- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.
Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
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