I asked a question to my near and dear ones: “How do you tackle the temptations when you come across them?” It is a broad question and can not be elaborated in short. What I meant was – “What is the first shield of protection you hold to resist the temptation you face?” In fact I went back to the same persons and asked this specific question and their replies were same. The replies were:
“I ask myself if I really can do without it. I take time.”
“I increase my will… If I have to lose weight, then I determine not to eat Puchka…(Crispy Indian Snack)” 😉
“Well… I give in to some and resist some…. I don’t resist all temptations… and the ones I do, I use logic to resist…”
“Depends on my will power at that point of time and my state of mind… Sometimes I just give in and when I do – I try not to feel guilty… My shield is – distraction.”
“I ask my loved ones to stop me from getting tempted. They remind me why at the first place I tried to stay away from that temptation itself.”
“I will do just a prayer to God to help me through the situation…”
“Think of the consequences.”
“I first think what will happen to my identity.”
“Prayer – that’s the key for me. Taking it to God.”
“I will think if its really necessary for me…”
“I will rely on my sense of right and wrong…. The first thing I will remind myself that it’s not the right thing to do… And I have this very bad habit of trying to be in everyone’s good books… So I will be conscious of how will I look to others if I do this…”
The replies were commendably honest and fabulous. I appreciate all to have let their hearts open before me.
Now, let’s get into a study of the word ‘Temptation‘.
The web or Google dictionary defines it as: “the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” So a temptation is always something WRONG that we fall into.
Vocabulary.com explains it as: “Temptation is something you want to have or to do, even though you know you shouldn’t.” So a temptation is wrong and we KNOW it while falling prey to it.
Wikipedia describes it as: “Temptation is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment, that threatens long-term goals. It is the inclination to sin.” So a temptation can CAPTIVATE it’s prey.
There’s one Christiananswers.net which defines it as: “Temptation is common to all.” So a temptation is UNAVOIDABLE in life.
We got to know some facts about the word Temptation which I have mentioned above in CAPITAL case.
Now the question arises, “how to resist the temptations?”
- Fleeing Away from it: I loved a reply which goes like this, “I take time”. It is always safe when we take ourselves away from the temptations… from the place… from the object of temptations etc. Another reply was, “Distraction”. That is also a similar kind of strategy that keeps us away from the direct effects of temptation. The Bible instructs us: “flee from the youthful lusts”, “flee for lives…” etc. So sometimes FLEEING AWAY from the area of temptation helps us to resist it because it is not very easy to resist it.
- Practice on a Daily Basis: Another reply was, “I increase my will or have a strong will power…”. Having a strong determination or will power really helps us to resist the temptations, but it is not at all easy as temptations are plenty and unavoidable in life. So how to increase our will power? It’s a daily affair… we need to consider many such things in our life that are weakening our will power. Recognizing them and getting rid of them are important in our practice of being determined. So how to do that? Avoid pornographic contents, jokes, talks, erotica etc., if you are being tempted to sexual stuffs. Instead make a habit of reading good contents, studying scriptures, staying in safe places, watching good movies etc. Another thing we need to consider is that with whom do we associate on a daily basis…? Who are our friends…? Peer pressure and friend circle are the biggest reasons behind our being led into different kinds of temptations. They totter our will power… so it is better to change our friend circles if they are not helping us to resist the temptations. The Bible instructs, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” That helps a great deal for sure in strengthening our mind and will power.
- Be Accountable to Someone close: Sometime ago I asked one of my sisters to be a person whom I will report everything that I do… It is not that she will instruct me or keep a check on me but that helps. It reminded me that if I have to tell her the truth about myself then I need to do what is right… It is not easy to do that but why not give it a try. One of the replies above was, “I ask my loved ones to stop me from getting tempted. They remind me why at the first place I tried to stay away from that temptation itself”.
- Relying on a Greater Strength: Two of the above replies were about “Praying to God” which is really very essential. The carnal desires are very natural and defeating them with carnal strength is daunting and sometimes impossible. So divine intervention always makes things easier for us. Prayer is the way we stay connected to our Creator God. Another reply was about relying on our conscience, on our sense of right and wrong… Staying connected to the divinity sharpens our conscience. We become sensitive to the wrong and right things in life… It becomes easier for us to differentiate between a right thing and a wrong thing. I remember one more scripture portion where it says, “…when you are tempted, God will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”. Wow! That’s amazing! Our loving God is always ready to help us and show us a way out whenever we call on to Him.
Concluding my article I would like to say that, temptation is like an apple kept in front of you after you are starving for hours without eating anything. Before you think about your identity, about the consequences, about using our logic to resist you fall flat in the trap of temptations… It is not so easy to resist the temptations of life but take heart it is not impossible either. Somebody very close to my heart says,
There have been times in which I have yielded to temptations too, even after knowing God’s standards fully well. Then the only way out is to confess and seek HIS forgiveness. As a reflection, I have always come to the conclusion that whenever I have given in to temptation, I have placed someone/something over and above God.
Let’s gather ourselves today, tighten our belt on the waist and stand firm to RESIST the temptation by considering all above.
“Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?”