Pastor James says that each temptation has more riding on it than I think. That my ability to resist temptation has a tremendous impact on my life and the lives around me. And that it all comes down to “Do I trust God?”. It is convicting in many ways. It’s not “just this once”, it’s never “not hurting anyone else”. Even though feeling temptation is TOTALLY normal and a part of being human, it’s not just about me when I cannot resist.
The following is a list of some temptations I deal with:
- Food – Sweet and fatty foods are my downfall. I actively crave ice cream and chocolate in general, and frequently give in to that temptation, even though I know it will do bad things for me. I have a fairly long laundry list of foods that tempt me. I also hate that I gain weight and constantly bemoan my weight and lack of energy. Yet I still have a real problem resisting the temptation to purchase and eat these things.
- Selfishness – taking my time and energy and applying as much as possible to me and not to my family or my work. Wanting to spend my evenings and my weekends doing things I enjoy and ignoring the things I don’t want to do is a tremendous temptation. This includes playing on my computer, reading a book, going shopping. It’s not that doing those things are wrong, all of those things are fine. It’s the matter of doing something to the exclusion of spending time with my family, taking care of my responsibilities, or cultivating my relationships with God and with friends.
- Emotional attachments to inappropriate people. I don’t crave or desire this, but I get tempted to develop relationships with some people by the feeling of connection I get from them. If I wouldn’t want my husband to overhear or read (online) my interactions with someone, then there is something terribly wrong with that relationship.
- Information – this may seem like an odd thing to be tempted by, but the proximity and availability and speed of getting information online is a terrible temptation for me that distracts me from doing my job. (“What am I missing? Do I have any email? What is new in the news that I should know about? What’s happening in the world? Where can I find this or that?”)
- Control – The temptation to grab control, to be in control at home is sometimes overwhelming. Allowing John to make household decisions or be in charge of things is very difficult for me. I fear the consequences when I don’t make the calls. At the same time I want to be able to depend on him.
- Perfectionism – This is all about control, but with a different subtext. “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself, no one else can be trusted to do the job well enough.” At the same time, i’m also wanting to be selfish and lazy and do nothing.
I hope this “journey” can assist me in overcoming some of the temptations in my life that are harming my walk through life instead of helping or easing it. Having a bowl of ice cream “because I deserve it” isn’t helping me beyond the immediate moment. It is, in fact, harming me, helping to take me to a weight that causes me personal anguish and if I don’t change it, will cause me health problems. High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are the things that immediately come to mind as being in my family and that come from being overweight and out of shape.