The term “temptation” is a loaded one, and with it, many related ideas are brought to mind. We all have connotations with the act of being tempted and a discussion about the reality of temptation in our everyday lives is bound to bring up a lot of insecurities and reminders of past failings. This can be dangerous when it causes people to live in shame rather than move forward with their lives.
Instead, when discussing temptation, it is helpful for us to take time to consider the things that tempt us the moment when we are being tempted. This will allow us to acknowledge our shortcomings and weaknesses, ask help from others and avoid those things that begin the cycle of entrapment that temptations, when yielded to, create.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines temptation as “the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil: enticement; something tempting: a cause or occasion of enticement.” The reoccurrence of the word “enticement” intrigued me. When I followed the link to its definition, I found that “entice” is a synonym for “tempt” and means “to attract artfully or adroitly or by arousing hope or desire.”
While temptation and enticement are not exactly the same thing, I believe it helps to look at the qualities of enticement to see where temptation may begin.
When something entices us, it is because it “arouses hope or desire.” In our everyday moments in life, we should acknowledge when these feelings are brought up in us—the emotional response to something that causes us to believe that if we do something, we will feel a certain way. Temptations come in many different forms, so it is important to consider the fact that they may not be as obvious as we think. When we are led towards something that we believe will do something for us, when we struggle to give up a habit for whatever reason, when we are dishonest with friends and family—these are all indicators that we should perhaps pay attention to the cause of these reactions.
While temptation can be a debilitating reality to live with, know that you are not alone in your fight.
It is hard to recognize when we are being tempted—and it is even harder to avoid those things once we realize what they are. However, if we are able to take note of this when faced with a desire to engage in something that seems to be innocent, we can develop healthy personal habits rather than ignoring when temptation exists.