Temptation is around every corner

Published 9:45 pm Friday, October 16, 2015

Regardless of all the information that I hear about the negative effects of “junk food” I cannot deny that I still enjoy chips, candy, cookies and such more than I did when I was a kid.  Maybe we consumed more of those kinds of snacks when I was a child than I remember, but I do not recall them being as available in the house as they are now.  Even though I have not been able to overcome every temptation to indulge in goodies, I came up with a strategy once to help me with this struggle.  However, it turned out not to be the quick and easy fix that I sought.

The plan was simple and practical:  instead of buying regular sized cookies I got the ones in a plastic cup that are about the size of a nickel—common sense says that eating three of them would be a lot better than three of the regular ones.  I applied the same thing to candy and chips:  the extra small, portion controlled packages would surely let me enjoy a snack without loading me up with fat and calories.  It all sounded pretty good in principle, but the cumulative effect cannot be ignored!  When I realized that I had eaten several of those cookies—small though they were—and a little bag of chips and at least one of the petite candy bars all in one day, I knew that I would never accomplish what I needed to by continuing on that course.  Granted, it was an improvement over consuming a large portion of each of those things in a day, but it still fell short of what it needed to be.  Perhaps the missing factor in my failed effort, at least for that one day, was the discipline to completely turn away from the things that are not good for me.

We live in a world that has an endless offering of things that are bad for us—not only physically, but of much greater importance, spiritually.  Activities and lifestyles that dishonor God and hinder us from living righteous lives that honor Him are all around, easily available and often presented in such attractive and innocent ways that they can deceive almost anyone.  Dabbling with such temptations, even in small ways, is destructive to our moral character and detrimental to our spiritual well being, so the best approach is to see how far we can stay from such things rather than seeing how close we can get to them without giving in.

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In the New Testament, Titus 2:11-13 gives us both the means to overcome temptations and a goal to pursue:  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (New International Version).

The means for overcoming every temptation that Satan—the enemy of our souls–dangles before us is the grace of God which was perfectly extended to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.  As recipients of God’s grace, our goal everyday should be to live lives that honor Him as we await the time when we will see Him face to face and enter into Heaven with Him forever.  To forfeit such eternal joy for the momentary pleasures that temptations promise is never worth it.