8.21.15–>”11 Common Features of All Temptations” 4-6

(4) Temptation can become so undramatic that it passes by unnoticed. By repeated action, vice becomes a habit or even a sort of addiction. At this stage, we easily slip into sin without much of a struggle. This is the most dangerous form of temptation precisely because it troubles us the least.

(5) Luther referred to reason as “the devil’s whore.” In this scenario, we are led away from the simplicity of the Gospel by twisted thinking that blurs the distinction between good and evil. Once we find ourselves in a situation where sin has taken root in our lives, we often resort to rationalization to convince ourselves that everything is OK. We deny the overt content of our acts, we repress our feelings of guilt, and we often embark on a campaign to prove to ourselves that what we are doing is perfectly natural, morally neutral, harmless, and, in any case, unavoidable.

(6) One of the greatest effects of temptation is that it often causes us to lose heart. Our failures in the struggle against lust or gluttony lead us into sadness. We doubt our own worth, we lose our nerve,and we may be so overcome by defeatism and despair that we give up the struggle altogether.

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