Let’s say the only thing that separated you from stealing some cash, bumping your grades up, or finding out confidential information was a black hole. Would you use that black hole or set it aside because of your convictions?
See this 2-minute film on how strong our moral convictions are when put against the test.
The only way to fight against illicit desires is by having an even greater desire as the reason not to give in. While respect for society, sense of duty, or fear of getting caught are important considerations, I doubt they could harness me in a situation like this. Duty or fear of consequences may be motivators, but what about gratitude as a motivator for restraint?
There is power in saying no to something not just because it is the right thing to do or because you fear consequences, but because you have already been given something greater. God’s gracious forgiveness and unending generosity, which is poured out on me regardless of the many times I have wronged him, are powerful motivations that empower me to do what pleases him (Titus 3:3-8). Therefore, rather than mere duty or fear of consequences, I think what would provide me with power to hold back in this situation would be gratefulness to God. His costly generosity toward me when I least deserved it has a motivation-changing effect on me from “I can’t take it” to “I don’t want to take it”. Because being a recipient of his grace, I now want to please him.
What do you think could hold you back? Or would you hold back?