Friday, August 29, 2008

Fighting temptation

It looked so good. As I stopped at the convenience store on my way home I noticed a peanut butter cup brownie in the case. I wasn't really hungry but that treat was calling my name and I decided to get it. I paid for it and headed out to my car.

I wasn't even a half mile down the road and I had already inhaled it. I did taste it and it was good. Well, at least the first few bites were very good. The problem with giving in to these temptations is the fact that the treat never quite lives up to the expectation. As a matter of fact, I felt a little sick to my stomach ten minutes later.

That is the way it is with sin. It always seems like a good idea when we are being tempted but within minutes of giving in there is a price to pay. Some things have minor consequences. I may gain a pound or two when I indulge in gluttony. But if I drink too much and cause a fatal accident or I give in to a marital indiscretion and betray my marital vow in a moment of passion, I can never take that back.

So how do we avoid temptation? I have three suggestions. First, find a church family where you can find support and encouragement. We need help to stay faithful and true. Second, call on God when you are tempted. That's what Jesus did in the wilderness and we can learn from that. Finally, stop and think about the consequences. Ask yourself what could happen if you give in. Try to remember past experiences and let that sink in.

My experience with the brownie tonight will help me next time. But I still have to work at it. That is the nature of human life. We will always have temptations and we need to keep on saying "no!"