I want to talk about temptations. I feel like it has a complex context that prevents people from diving in and relating with it as well as they should. Part of that history is that ‘temptation’ is a central theme in this Bible, which creates its own connotations, but it’s also something we interface everyday in our lives. In coming to understand what temptation is at its core, we’ll be able to better navigate living out the best version of ourselves.
The simple definition of temptation is “the desire to do something, especially wrong or unwise”. This suggests that if something is a temptation, intuitively there’s something that feels off about it. It’s almost as if you know it’s not something you should do but you feel the urge to do it anyway.
This internal resistance says something really important about you. It pulls from your values and integrity to flag that something doesn’t feel in alignment. Whether this be in the eyes of God or the eyes of your best self, the source of your temptation could give you some insight into where your needs aren’t getting met.
So in these moments, if you want to really use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, explore this resistance. If it feels like a temptation, be curious about why that might be. In the face of making decisions on how you want to behave, also explore the costs and consequences of taking certain actions. You may be tempted to cheat on your partner, but what would that do to your life? You might be tempted to take off work early on a Friday, but what would that do to your self-confidence and the way you relate with your character?
If it’s a temptation you know there will be consequences, that’s why it feels like a temptation and not a genuine desire. But if you can think logically about the implications of your temptations, and make good decisions based on what you find, you’ll feel like you have more power over your urges.
I’m not asking you to be perfect and abstain at all costs, unless that’s who you want to be. But as with everything, there’s a balance and hopefully this broader understanding helps you find it!
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