I am basing this off of what I learned/was reminded of at church, but even if share other beliefs, temptations are real!
The gospel reading for the first Sunday in Lent is always the same because we need to hear it each year – Jesus going to the desert for 40 days and being tempted by Satan. This reading and the homily that followed really made me think about what tempts me. Enjoy my list and add your own temptations in the comments.
- Peanut butter M&Ms – if you can eat just one, you must be super-human.
- The urge to cuss to make my point when I am mad – I was never a cusser, until I married into a family of cussers (or at least that is who I am blaming it on). I am using Lent as a fresh start to stop this bad habit that I hear my boys also doing (YIKES!) when they don’t think I can hear them. A cusser is just not who I want to be.
- Staying up late, binge watching The Closer, Suits, Project Runway, or whatever other series I currently have on the DVR. I am a night owl by tendency and must force myself to go to sleep at a decent bedtime. This is a ridiculous temptation when I know I will pay for the lack of sleep later in the week.
- Taking out my lack of sleep on my family – this is when the tailspin occurs. I am tempted to yell at my boys and get mad at my husband about events that otherwise would not typically bother me – dirty clothes not in the hamper, middle son taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get ready in the morning, finding recycling items in the regular trash (I mean come on people!). I know deep down these frustrations are occurring due to my lack of sleep, but I am tempted to take it out on someone else.
- To make excuses – I am tempted to make excuses to tell the person all my reasons why my action or lack thereof is justified and therefore, why I should NOT be held accountable. Almost always, I regret giving into this temptation. Making excuses is not the person that I am. I am the kind of person who owns up to mistakes made or opportunities missed. I am the kind of person who learns from failure and strives not to repeat it. I am not an excuse maker.
- To judge people – This is so easy to give into, especially when you are in conversations (I think we call it gossip) about someone and then I am tempted to also give my two cents. That is the easy road. It is much harder to say that I do not know the entire situation, but that we all likely need to pray for the situation and do want we can to support our friend. It is so tempting to just chime in with what I heard! But again, I never feel great when I choose door number one – gossiping.
- To spend more time at work because that is where I feel the most success – I just got real. This temptation I have struggled with my entire life. I continue to work on my life blend and understand more each day how fleeting this life is. My boys only have one mom and my husband only one wife (fairly certain of this) and they deserve my best – not the whatever is left after I give my best to those at work. I was convicted of this when one of my sons told me I was so much more fun at school and must like other kids more than him. He was being dramatic at the time and of course, I told him he was more fun at school as well, but the comment hit me right in the guilt box (it is located in about the same place as your heart, and many of our loved ones seem to know exactly what to say to open it). I really had to examine my schedule and make some changes to give my family my best times as well and the temptation is there each night as I strive to get just one more item off my list or send one more email. Stop the temptation by setting the time you will leave and then do it. Do not bring work home with you. It will only tempt you to shorten your family time even more.
So what tempts you?
9 thoughts on “Temptation”
I love your list and honest reflections. I also like the phrase “guilt box”- kids really know how to press it. Being a teacher and a mom is challenging- always feel like I’m letting someone down. Sweets always tempt me! Thanks for a post that has me thinking….
I am also tempted by judgment and making excuses. It is something I am working on. I am tempted to spend money I do not have. I am also tempted to give unsolicited advice, and I am tempted to go back home and hug my dog!
Spending money I don’t have could also have been on my list. And is advice ever solicited 😉
Wow, thanks for your honesty and opening up here! “Taking out my lack of sleep on my family” really resonated with me. It’s so true for me too. The small things that bother me when I haven’t slept well, but I can overlook on other days, are something I’m aware of, yet I still can’t overcome on those extra tired days. While I’m trying to recognize when I haven’t slept enough or well, I would love to hear other strategies you use to combat this temptation.
My main strategy is be proactive – I use daily reminders from the minute I get out of bed. Sometimes it is the mantra – I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my family. I AM THANKFUL for my FAMILY! I keep a gratitude journal. The better I am at keeping it up – daily entries- the less likely I am to take things out on those I love because I can easily remember how many times I have written specific reasons why I am thankful.
My other strategy is to actually get ‘enough’ sleep! At first, it was seriously difficult to go to bed by 9:30, but that can also become a habit. I strive for bedtime rituals – cup of sleepytime tea, a bit of time sitting with my husband, bath/shower, reading from a book (not screen) or whatever else to unplug and relax about an hour before I want to be asleep.
Final one – turning on my nighttime phone setting at 8:30 and not checking any work email after this time. It will be there in the morning.
Hope these help.
This is a powerful list. I can relate to many of the temptations you write about.
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Thank you so much for sharing! I also am very tempted by peanut butter m&m’s! And making excuses for sure. I’m tempted to watch Netflix all weekend without getting one bit of work done. I have to mentally prepare myself to go to the gym, which is crazy! Thanks for your honesty.
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This may hit a bit too close to home, sissy. You say “be real”, and, as always, you are. I love you and your self control!
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I thought this was a powerful and thought-provoking piece, and I can relate to much of it! I have to work very hard in my head on the “judging people” one! I want to be the kind of person who always remembers that people are often carrying burdens I can’t imagine and I need to be compassionate. But sometimes I’m just plain cranky!
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