Temptation Keeps You From Being Productive
Temptation is a real pain in the butt, isn’t it? There is not a day that goes by that I’m not tempted by some silly thing over here or some stupid thing over there. Temptations distract, and ultimately keep you from being at your most productive.
And that’s an important thing to consider. “Being productive” is not only important to you, it’s something God wants from you, too. The whole concept of “what have you done?” and “what have you produced?” is kind of a big deal. Time and time again I talk about how God has given us this life with the express purpose to do something with it. I have talked about that, haven’t I?
But you can’t do a whole lot if you’re distracted by Temptation.
So if Temptation is this big beast that wants to get in your way and keep you from doing things – the things God wants you to do – then why do we have to deal with it? Why does it exist at all?
Because we need it.
Why We Need Temptation
I think this suggestion goes against everything we are supposed to understand about the idea of Temptation. I mean, surely I must be confusing needs from wants. After all, something that tempts you is a want, much more than it is a need – if it could even be considered a need at all.
But if we’re to live by the assumption that everything exists for a reason – that God created a universe that allows things like Temptation on purpose – then we must also assume that Temptation exists for a reason as well. It exists because it’s supposed to.
Hold on there, Tiger – you’re getting really close to saying that sin is supposed to exist, too. Are you suggesting that we need sin?
That’s another article for another time but, yes. In this reality, that’s part of the necessity of our existence. You can’t have the concept of free will (which allows for growth, the building of character and so on) without choice.
And it is because of choice that we need Temptation. If we had nothing to choose from – if we did not have that thing that we should not choose – there would be no concept of a “good choice” or “the right decision”.
In that sense, Temptation is a litmus test.
What Do Your Temptations Say About You?
We are all tempted by something. Maybe you can’t stop eating Wendy’s burgers (I can’t blame you). Maybe you just have to have “one more drink”. I’m tempted by (and often give in to) sleeping in just that ten minutes extra, eating up time that I could use for exercise or writing. I also drink way too much soda and caffeine (the latter against doctor’s orders).
There are other things in our lives that are Temptations but we don’t necessarily think about them as such. Are you on your phone all the time? Facebook? Instant messaging? Are you binge-watching Netflix? (I’ll let it slide if it’s Stranger Things). Are you tempted to ignore your wife’s (or husband’s) feelings about a particular subject? Do you comply with the urge to shout at your dog for barking up a storm?
Make no mistake – you are tempted by things all the time, every minute of every day. Temptation is constantly working to keep you from being productive.
But it’s also constantly challenging you to make the right decisions.
If you want to know where you’re failing, or where you’re falling short – if you want to know how to be better – look at your Temptations. They will tell you everything you need to know.
How Do We Properly Identify And Defeat Our Temptations?
You can start by asking yourself some simple questions:
- What are you distracted by? Why?
- When you’re distracted by these things, how well do you face them, if you face them at all? Do you simply give in?
- Do you feel yourself being unproductive or slowing down? Can you identify the cause?
- Do you feel guilty about a recent choice you made? Why?
- Is it a necessity or a want?
Take a moment today and ask these questions of yourself. Write them down – visualization and tangible observation make it easier to acknowledge these Temptations and take action against them.
For Further Assistance And Guidance:
This worksheet will help you identify your Temptations and generate ways to combat them. This simple, two-page sheet will give you insight into what’s tempting you, why and how you’re winning and/or failing, and methods to combat your Temptations on a daily basis.
Remember, the things that tempt you tell you a lot about who you are and might even give you a clue to God’s calling for you. What do your Temptations tell you about yourself?
Have other suggestions or experiences to share? Something tempting you that you are struggling to defeat? Share in the comments below!