As the title states, this was a blog post from a long time ago. However, I find that remembering this list is quite useful during Lent. And now, I have a neat little picture for it, too!
I was at certain church service at my home church a long time ago, and the sermon from that service has been stuck in my head since late February.
The topic? 7 tips to overcoming temptation.
Now, another friend of mine, who happens to be a therapist, was sitting in the congregation that day as well, and there was this strange moment where we looked at each other and made a mad grab for pen and paper. The tips definitely work. So, I thought, why not throw them out on the Internet for all the world to see?
1. Know yourself. This means identifying your problem areas. What do you have a problem with? The answer to this comes from past experience, not present experimentation.
2. Think about it. Every action gets easier when done repetitively. So think of the pros and cons about each action: how will this affect your family, friends, job, even your reputation? Does the result justify the damage?
3. Keep away. This means setting boundaries. Think of being harnessed to the top of a dome. The farther you are from the top, the more likely you are to slide and fall, and you may reach the point of no return. Your boundaries may also differ at different times. Case in point: people who are frustrated at work are more susceptible to having an affair.
4. Simply say no. Take a hint from Eve and Satan in Eden. Satan tricked Eve by having a conversation and getting Eve to a wrong conclusion by mentally manipulating her. “No” is enough.
5. Swallow your pride. There is such a thing as pushing yourself too far. Reaching out for help is not an indicator of weakness; remember that part of repenting is realizing that one is not perfect.
6. Refocus. Distance yourself from the situation. It’s a lot easier to not think of a pink elephant when you’re not staring at a picture of one. Likewise, not eating ice cream tends to be easier to follow through on if you don’t look inside of Coldstone every time you pass by.
7. Willpower is a muscle: exercise it. This last one is pretty self-explanatory. But it’s true. Saying no to little things makes it easier to say no to big ones.
Yes, I do use my notes as phone wallpaper.