In “The Key to Overcoming Temptation,” an interview by Brian Proffit of Rev Magazine, Dr. Arnold Cole is the CEO and Director of Bible Engagement Research for Back to the Bible revealed his findings in how best to overcome temptation (http://www.rev.org/article.asp?ID=3374).
It was no surprise that men report three times the temptations compared to women and that 80% of all Christians report giving in to temptation “some of the time.” What came as a bit of a surprise was so few reported their best aid against sin was other people (at 5.5%), accountability relationships (at 2.1%) or church (at just 0.5%). Three out of four had shared their temptation with another person, but only this tiny percentage named Christian friends as helping them resist temptation. Reading the Bible was the number one method for successful resistance – though there is a caveat.
Dr. Cole referred “The Power of 4.” It seems there is no statistical difference between Christians who read or listen to the Bible two to three days a week and those who do not read at all! There is a clear watershed at four days. Those who read or listen to the Bible at least four days a week are 36% less likely to smoke, 57% less likely to get drunk, 61% less likely to use pornography, and 68% less likely to have sex outside marriage.
Oh, one very important side note. How often one reads or listens to the Bible seems a particularly protective factor for teens. Among teens, we find no effects for church attendance and prayer in alleviating risky behaviors. Our New Testament Challenge has started us on the right path to helping ourselves as well as our family from avoiding risky behavior.