Sunday, 17 February 2013

4 practical ways to avoid temptation

by Randy Tudy
In last Sunday’s gospel reading (Lk. 4:1-13), Jesus was tempted three times by the devil. Re-read this gospel and learn from Jesus how to fight against the devil.

I remember one incident when I took an examination during my doctoral studies.  There were around 20 of us taking this examination on a very difficult subject- Statistics.  There was one question which needed a formula.  Since I was not really good in Math much more Statistics, I really had difficulty even just understanding the questions.  Then, I saw a small piece of paper being passed around.  It was the formula.  I was really tempted to get the paper but I remembered my own students whom I always reminded to be honest during our examination. That thought alone kept me away from temptation.

In any given moment, we also had our own share of temptations.  Temptation is not a problem.  It is how we react to it which can either make or destroy our life, career, family or dreams.

Here are some ways on how to avoid temptation.

1. Stay away from temptation.  If you know it’s going to destroy yourself, then by all means stay away from it.  I sternly warn my students to choose the best friends or peers who can help and support in attaining their dreams.   For married persons, stay away from peers who have lots of vices which would lead to infidelity.  In short, stay away from things, events, persons or places which you consider sources of temptation.

2. Fight against temptation.  In one of my travels abroad, I met Gary who had been an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for a good number of years. He shared something that made me realize how difficult it is for a married man to be away from home.   For him to fight temptation, he devoted his free time in the internet communicating through Skype with his wife and children.  In other words, fighting against temptation is to recognize it and find ways to get away from it.   You have to choose your battle which you believe is on your side.

3. Make yourself busy.  According to St. Benedict, idleness is the work of the devil.  I agree.  Have you noticed when you don’t do anything there are so many things that come to your mind?  Good if these are good thoughts.   Making ourselves busy with productive things keep us away from evil thoughts and deeds.

4. Pray. This might be the most common advice we receive when we ask a friend for help.  Well, nothing beats the power of prayer.   In the “Our Father”, it is there that we ask God to deliver us from temptation. 

Jesus was victorious against the temptations of Satan.  First, he did not let temptations ever have an impact on him.  Second, he fought against them by constantly telling the devil about the Scriptures and His obedience to the Father.  Third, Jesus was focused on his mission that temptations have no place in him.  Fourth, Jesus prayed.  Temptations had no power over him.

Learn from Him.

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