The easiest way not to give in is not to go there!
Temptation. An ever-present inner force we must all struggle with every day. Since it tempts us to indulge in things we know we shouldn’t, this force seeks to harm our quality of life and create sadness and guilt for us. And for anyone recovering from an addiction that controlled your life, temptation offers a path that leads straight back down to rock bottom, back where you started.
When in recovery from addiction, giving in to one temptation is all it takes to ruin your life again. But here’s the thing: Even one ‘lesser’ temptation leads to another, leads to another, leads to another and another. Giving in to one ‘minor’ temptation breeds plenty more temptations; the first lapse of your self-discipline leads to more, as you’ve already let your guard down for the day, mentally and emotionally.
And I see temptation as an emotional issue, at its root. It tempts us to chase after those short-term pleasures that will make us feel better, soothe whatever emotional pain we’re carrying that day. I successfully quit cigarettes a few years ago, for example. But even now, I can still be tempted by the smell of cigarette smoke when I’m having a really bad day, and I’m carrying around the negative emotions that come along with that.
Cigarette smoke never smells better than when I’m having a terrible day.
But I can remember how addictive cigarettes are, and how insanely hard it is to quit them (how are these things even legal?!). I also know from experience that for me, one cigarette, one lapse in self-discipline, is all it takes for me to get right back to the pack-a-day that I used to smoke. I don’t want to go back there, and if I did, I would feel terrible and guilty about it. So I resist this temptation. Giving into this temptation would make my life worse; it would knock me off one of the paths I have chosen for myself.
Temptation is always there, trying to knock us off whatever path we have chosen for ourselves. For those in recovery from addiction, it’s trying to send us back to the hell we fought so hard to crawl this far out of!
Let’s bring The Bible into this, since my thing is talking about God and stuff.