8.18.15–>”11 Common Features of All Temptations” 1

temptations

James 1:14

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

Reading in bed last nite, I came across these “common features of temptation”, and found them too insightful not to share. I believe the exposure of these features will be empowering for us all.

Just a couple things before getting into these eleven.

Know up front that all temptations are alike in seeking to undermine our faith in the gift of God and to divide, distort, and diminish the love that the Spirit has poured into our hearts. And there is but a single purpose in all temptations: to separate us from God.

OK, here’s the first common feature:

Temptations occur only in areas of weakness and vulnerability. An option becomes a temptation only when there is a good chance that we be strongly attracted to it. Knowing our current weaknesses gives us some opportunity to take preventative measures. 

Here is where “know thyself” is helpful.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

Know your weaknesses and do what is necessary to not put yourself in harm’s way. A very plain example is if you struggle with alcohol, you probably don’t want to meet your friends out at a brewery four nites a week. As harmless as it may sound, I use to be addicted to Coke Zero. So finally, I stopped buying it and stocking my mini fridge with it! Amazing how helpful that was. It’s not rocket surgery, people, it’s simply a matter of what you really want. Yet, we must acknowledge that it is indeed challenging. Man, did that CZ taste good!

Conversely, know your strengths, and know them not for the purpose of thinking yourself above others or beyond temptation. Obviously, if you know me, I’m not real tempted to make a lot of money or be in a position of authority over others. Yet, how tempted I can be to look down on others who are! That devil is a crafty one. He would have me sit and dwell on how not tempted I am in those areas, meanwhile opening a door somewhere else where I’m not even looking.

So know what you are strongly attracted to, where you are weak and vulnerable. That is where you need to build up your defense. Expose it to at least one trusted person, and you will right then greatly diminish the temptation’s power. One area for me is the strong desire to be well thought of. To the point that I will only show my very best side of everything. It’s like I only play “Rob’s Greatest Hits” album, and only the 3 best songs from that. What helps me is to boldly play all those crap songs from my catalogue that show to myself and others the truth of my frail humanity. That I’m just as big a dork as anybody else.

But a big dork on whom the Spirit has poured out His love.

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