Bounce, jump, and shift are all redirect words that mean starting in one place but ending in a different one. They signal a movement from one area to another. Over the years various guy friends have shared with me a principle they call ‘bouncing’. In order to keep from lusting when they see an attractive women in a way that would tempt them to lust they “bounce” their eyes onto something else and look away.* One friend told me “the first look isn’t sin – we can’t help when someone walks in front of us – it’s when we keep looking or look again that it is a problem”. I tend to agree with him.
As with all sin, we first start with the temptation to sin before we do the actually sinning. James 1:14 says:
“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”
We need to stop sin when the desire comes – before it births sin in us. Temptation isn’t sin – we sin when we give into the temptation. We need to bounce our looks, or thoughts, or words.
Ladies, I think the guys are on to something here! What if we ‘bounced’ whenever the desire for sin appeared? Rather than just lust, what if we applied it to worry, pain, hurt, unforgiveness, a bad attitude or discontent?
At times we need to fight and work through our sin and issues, but once the Lord has made His position to us clear on a matter we need to “bounce” whenever our desires hasten to lead us astray.
We need to bounce:
-When we start to worry over a situation or person and bounce to remembering Who is in control of the future and all situations in it.
-When something triggers an old memory and the pain that goes with it and bounce to where we are now and what He has done.
-When someone hurts us – again – and un-forgiveness rears it’s ugly head – bounce by choosing to forgive as Christ forgives us.
-When discontentment floods our hearts over our roles, relationships (or lack thereof), and possessions – bounce to what we do have and the Provider of those things.
Bouncing is a habit that takes time and purpose to implement. The art of bouncing is something you prepare for and decide to do ahead of time – before the desire and temptation come. Make a game plan. Choose something you will bounce your thoughts and desires towards. It could be anything – sing a song, quote scripture, physically go do something, or mentally start planning a phone call or conversation you want to have – even your grocery list. Personally for me, prayer for a specific person is my favorite bounce plan.
If you struggle with worry, a bad attitude or unforgiveness, bouncing your thoughts by praying for the person/situation is a great way to gain perspective and peace. On the other hand if you struggle with lust, pain or discontentment type desires, –trying to pray for the situation or object of your sinful desire in the moment of temptation is a lot like trying to not think of something. You will always think of and dwell on what you are trying hardest to forget! It kind of defeats the purpose. So bounce wisely. Ask the Lord what, how or whom you are to bounce your thoughts and desires towards. He’ll let you know and then do it – plan ahead for when the temptation comes.
Picking something ahead of time to bounce your thoughts towards is like loading your gun with amo in a war ahead of the battle. You don’t want to be caught without your ammunition.
May the Lord direct (redirect or bounce) your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (From 2 Thess 3:5) Bounce, jump and shift and we will gain the victory over what battles and defeats us!
*BTW for guys reading this post – girls do notice when you are out and about with us and you choose not to look when you see something – we/I respect you greatly for that!