The Second Second

2 Samuel 11:2-3 — 2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her (NIV).

Today I want to share with you a principle that will change your life forever. I was first introduced to this concept by Sergio Scataglini. It’s called the principle of the second second.

As I mentioned yesterday, some temptation is unavoidable. For instance, if you’ve ever driven on the interstate, odds are you’ve passed by billboards with sensual images on them. (It’s really unfortunate how liberal advertising has become.) It’s not uncommon, especially in larger cities, to be driving along, look up, and see a half-dressed person draped across a billboard. Here’s where the principle of the second second comes into play.

You didn’t put the advertisement there, nor is it your fault that you drove by it. The first second you look at the billboard is temptation. Now you have a decision to make. Whether you realize it or not, you ask yourself and answer the following question: “Am I going to continue staring at the ad, or am I going to look away?”

If you choose to look away, you avoid the temptation to sin. But the second second you look at that billboard sin is virtually inevitable. Your mind begins to entertain fantasies, and the longer you look, the more difficult it is to get the image out of your head once the sign is out of sight.

David was walking around on the roof of his palace when he happened to catch a glimpse of a woman bathing (the first second). He did not mean to see her, but rather than look away, he stood watching her. In fact, the Bible says he studied her long enough to see she was very beautiful, and he desired to have her.

If you struggle with a certain vice in your life, don’t fall victim to the second second. When temptation comes, look away. Run from it if you have to. Don’t allow your mind to lead you into sin. Remember: The first second is temptation; the second is sin.

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