It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality . . . no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. (1 Thess. 4:3, 6)

I remember sitting on the sofa with a date watching TV and being embarrassed when a commercial for lingerie came on the screen. Today? Well, let’s just say subtle innuendos and fading to black don’t seem to be quite enough.

As down-the-drain as modern culture can seem to be, though, “sexual immorality” was as much a problem in Paul’s time. It has been so throughout time. That’s why Paul warned the Thessalonians, who lived in a multicultural environment, to not be tainted by what was going on around them. They were also to look out for the well-being of their brothers and sisters in Christ in this regard.

How does one avoid sexual immorality in today’s culture? We have to choose not to participate in what we consider may taint us. We should avoid seeing, reading, or listening to it, and especially beware of thinking it will not affect us. But most significantly, it is God’s will that “you should be sanctified.” That is the only true way of avoiding sin—God’s working within you. The way we ultimately avoid sexual immorality is by turning our eyes not only away when a lustful proposition comes up, but to Him.

Avoid temptation by turning your eyes to God, seeking His sanctifying strength.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.