Temptation

Temptation is something which leads you to do the Devil's will (BAD), or that keeps you from doing God's will, (GOOD). Nearly all people want to be good and don't want to be evil. It would be hard for the Devil to get you to do outright evil things, so the Devil uses temptations. Temptations always have two parts.

  1. One part would be "good" (at least for the moment), but
  2. Result in "bad" (or less good) for someone else, or for you later.

Some examples:


Temptation to Steal

You get the thing you wanted, but the cost of things to other people goes up. You may be caught and get in trouble. As an adult you could be sent to jail or fired from our job.


Temptation to Cheat at school

You get a better grade, but don't learn things you will need later in life. You are cheating your future in order to look good at the moment. If discovered you are punished.


Temptation to Lie

You might escape punishment or other unhappy things, but when the lies are discovered, people loose trust in you. They loose respect for you. You may receive greater punishment, such as loosing your job. It can destroy friendships.


Temptation for Self-Centeredness

This is when you think only of your needs and wants, but not about the needs or wants of others. You would get what you want, and do what you want, but the other people soon begin to resent you. Soon you find that you have few real friends.



Sometimes Bad Comes with the Good

Don't be overcome by the fact that sometimes very GOOD actions will have some minor bad results. Sometimes people become unable to act because they fear that something bad will result from their overall good action. It is a matter of balance. If the good is very great and the bad is very small, then it is likely to be something we should do.


Hard Decisions!

The really hard decisions in life are those which we MUST make, and it is hard to decide which option produces the most good and the least bad. Sometimes we make the wrong decision. If we made the decision in the best way we could, then we should not be too hard on ourselves.


He is a Tricky Devil!

The Devil can tempt us with options which are totally good. He can do this by providing something good for us to do, in order to keep us from doing something better! Example:

It is good to volunteer to paint a widow's house for her. But if you are capable of finding a cure for cancer, that is a higher priority. By tempting you to paint her house, the Devil is keeping you from curing cancer!

How Can You Resist Temptation?

1.

First you must see that it is a temptation. Often, when you give into temptation it is because your brain stopped working at the first thought of the Good part of the temptation, and you never think about the Bad part. In your mind, separate a possible action out into its two parts: the Bad and the Good. If you get into the habit of looking for the Good and Bad before acting, then you will recognize temptations when they happen to you. Because you desire to be a good Christian, then you do not give in to the temptation. You win, other people win, God wins, and the Devil looses!

2.

Ask the question "If Jesus were standing right beside me now would He approve of me doing this, including any bad in it?" If not, don't do it.

3.

If your friends and family knew what you are about to do, would you feel embarrassed or ashamed? If so, don't do it.

4.

Ask "What is the greatest good I can do right now?" This helps pick the highest good.

How do YOU resist temptations???

Mr. Andrews


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