Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Hebrews 11:25
If you were born in the late 1990s or after, then you have possibly never used a cassette tape. You might know what it is, but that is about it. The step before the modern MP3s was CDs, but I grew up listening to all of my music on cassettes. Technology has advanced to such a level that you can fit the equivalent of three or four hundred cassette tapes on a device a fifth of the size. It wasn’t as simple as touching a button and skipping to the next track, or scrolling through a list of music to find the exact song you are looking for in seconds like we do today. If I wanted to find a song on that tape, I had to push fast-forward, wait as long as I thought it would take to get to the song, press stop, press play, and then repeat the process if I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.
It would benefit young people if they did the same thing in their spiritual life – fast-forward. When you are tempted to sin, think ahead to where that sin will lead you. Fast-forward ten or fifteen years in your mind and dwell upon what your life will be like after that sin. When you are tempted to lose your purity, think ahead to where you will be in ten or twenty years. Think about the regrets you will have after that time has passed. Think about how much more wonderful your life would have been if you had just passed by that temptation; and then – pass it by. Even thinking into the immediate future when you are tempted can help your spiritual life. Think about things like “Where will listening to that music take my thoughts?” or “What will I be tempted to do if I allow myself to view this wicked thing on television or online?” or even “How will my future wife and kids be affected by the decision I am about to make?”
Thinking ahead of the sin for one moment would make us realize that there is no benefit to the sins we are about to commit. No one is taken so quickly by a temptation that they don’t have a moment to pause and think about the consequences before they jump into the action. Just think about pushing a button on a cassette player. Fast-forward a couple days, a couple months, or a couple years and try to imagine where that sin will take you. No present pleasure in sin is worth the sacrifice of a beautiful future. Visualizing a destroyed future for a moment of sinful pleasure should cause us to divert our direction away from the temptation and back onto the path of a victorious Christian life.