Does temptation every make you feel like the biggest loser?
I’m not a Biggest Loser fan, but I am a fan of what they do. I find the whole temptation side of this show fascinating to watch. On one hand they have the trainers threatening everything short of death (well, maybe that too) if they submit to temptation. On the other hand they have peer pressure, fear, years of bad habits, addictions, the glittering prize of immunity to battle. Mostly they fight against the lie that giving in is not really a sin, that they will be able to work of the consequences and that it’s worth it in the end.
Last night I caught the bit of the current season. In this the contestants did their first “individual temptation”. This time temptation was private, not in front of the crowd. Some liked this, some found it harder.
Facing them was an ice cream truck offering an array of ice cream and chocolate delights. There beside it was a board with the costs of succumbing to temptation. They very clear. They were in black and white. They were visible.
It was interesting to see how the various contestants handled the temptation before them. Some just gave in – no thought, no fight, just a quick yes. Some thought about it, weighed up their options, gawked long enough for saliva to add pressure, almost touched the food before making their decision. One person got as close to food sin as possible, without actually partaking. They looked, they smelt, they leaned into the van, they looked at the ice cream, they looked at the consequences, they smelt the chocolate, they looked again at the price….
It looked like the combination of ice cream, chocolate and childhood memories would be too much for all the contestants. Yet, there were one or two who went straight up to the van, gave a firm, immediate “no” to temptation and quickly walked away.
As I watched each choose to struggle with temptation or not to, I realised that we all face this sort of decision with the temptations that come our way on a daily basis. Whether it’s over-eating, lying, stealing, gossiping, unforgiveness or something else, we all have the choice about how we deal with the temptations placed before us.
Being tempted is not a sin. Some temptations we can avoid – i.e. not going to places that increase the chance of encountering things that particularly tempt us like an alcoholic going to a pub. Some temptations just pop into our head like “just lie about it” and we can’t avoid those.
What we can always do is choose our response to temptation. Are we going to just say no and walk away? Are we going to get as close as possible, lying to ourselves that it’s ok to do that? Are we just going to give in without a fight?
If we don’t want temptation to make us feel like the biggest loser when we give into it, we need to be like the contestants on the show. We need a plan, we need to work hard, train, practise saying no, find alternative patterns of behaviour, maybe even getting our own trainer who will really hold us accountable for our actions. And, most importantly, we need to pray “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Do you have advise to share on dealing with temptation? Share your ideas below.
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