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?