My mother-in-law is always a fun-loving woman, but put her on a dance floor on vacation, and she really has a good time! Once a friend asked her if she was worried what others thought and she replied, “It doesn’t embarrass me. I’m not from around here! I have an out-of-town attitude!”
Having an out-of-town attitude can lead to behavior that’s harmless, like dancing like it’s 1999 on a ski trip with friends, or singing karaoke on a family cruise vacation. But there can also be negative implications to an out-of-town attitude. It can be tempting to believe that when no one we know can see us, our behavior doesn’t count.
A common time for this temptation to creep in is on work trips, when you may find yourself drawn to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do. Whether it’s staying up too late, having too many drinks with a colleague, binging on room service, or watching an “adult film,” temptation is easier to give in to when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. While it’s easy to think that men are the only ones who struggle with inappropriate sexual behavior, an article in Psychology Today states that “10 to 25 percent of heterosexual married women will have an affair during their lifetime” and, often, that behavior is linked to relationships that start in the workplace.
If you travel for work, you probably know what I’m talking about. You’re on a break from your normal responsibilities. You’re jet-lagged from traveling and tired from a long day of meetings, and then one of those things-that-you-shouldn’t-do-but-want-to-do presents itself and suddenly you don’t have the energy to fight yourself, your sin nature, or even the spiritual warfare that might be taking place.
But fight you must.
Becoming a Fighter
As it turns out, neither you nor I are the first people to encounter this fight against ourselves. Even the apostle Paul had to battle himself. In Romans 7:18–20 he says:
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.