Let’s talk about Temptation. Lent is a good time for that.
What is temptation? The common definition is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health-related, economic, etc.
In the context of religion, temptation is the inclination to sin. We are all uniquely tempted depending on our personalities, genes, upbringing, environment.
Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing by a person, other than ourselves, into committing an act that we know is not good for us– the real danger is that this person makes it appear ‘good.’ Smart huh? After all, we wouldn’t choose it if we didn’t think it was good. But of course, this is how we’re misguided.
The best way to avoid temptation is to accept that we will be tempted. Then we have to know weaknesses and honestly admit them. Next, we put on the brakes whenever we’re in a situation that might cause us to fall into the wrong things—— or better yet we really, really try NOT to be in such a situation. If that means excusing ourselves from an event, or an enticing entanglement, then we must DO it.
Remember that what looks good to us after we’ve already made dubious decisions, or when we’re under some influence and not our true selves, may be exactly the wrong thing under normal circumstance. For example, to a lonely man, don’t the girls all look prettier at closing time?
Temptation is controllable, if we’re honest with ourselves about our weaknesses, and then courageous enough to stay away from people, places, and situations that are sure to take advantage of our flaws.
Copyright 2015 Kaye Hinckley