My biggest struggle comes from the temptation of food. There were times I had absolutely no self control over food. But there are a lot of other temptations that people struggle with out there such as: smoking, pornography, drinking, gambling, sex, drugs, collecting random things, criticizing people, talking about the physical disapproval of others, exercise… the list goes on and on.
Don’t you ever wonder why some things are more of a temptation than others? Why is alcohol more of an issue for some people and not others? You can blame it in genetics, peer pressure, emotional events, depression, boredom… maybe that is just the distraction that some turn to and then for the people that use it excessively- they like the way the alcohol makes them feel. Then they keep wanting the feeling that alcohol brings and that makes it an issue.
Temptations can easily become addictions. You know a temptation has become an addiction when you keep on allowing that obsession you are tempted towards win you over despite the unpleasant cost or destruction that come from these behaviors. Your body then starts to crave the short term fulfillment that comes from that temptation that has now become an addiction.
I gained 68 pounds in one year. Right after I got married in 2005 and we moved away to TX because that is where my husband was stationed in the army. I went from being around friends and family constantly to being so bored out of my mind. I tried to fill my boredom with productivity. I went back to school and tried to find a job. I tried to make friends and I had no luck. I found a lot of comfort in sitting on the couch, watching tv, and eating. I ate all day long. I didn’t think I had a problem. I would find myself aimlessly walking around the kitchen, thinking about food all day long, I would have vivid dreams about food and if I woke up in the middle of the night I would go eat. That is what my food addiction looked like.
How do we handle temptation?
How is it possible to beat temptation with determination?
Where do you find your fulfillment?
There are many excuses that I used when I would fall under temptation and over eat. I used to tell myself, “I just want it.” I would joke and tell people, “The heart wants what the heart wants”. When I was morbidly obese, it was not hard to tempt me. But the Bible has a solution to our problem of temptation.
The Bible tells of a time when Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4: 1-4:
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’This verse is so powerful and changes my perspective on the way I see being tempted.
Even in difficult times his love toward the Father transcends the gratification of physical needs, emotional desires, and rational deliberations. In his perfect obedience he is the real servant of the Lord who not only sets a perfect example to be imitated by his followers, but even more so is the lamb without blemish, the one that was able to take away humanity's sins.
Jesus remained faithful in temptation and became the model for all believers when we are tempted.