SEVEN STEPS TO FIGHT TEMPTATIONS
Dt 26:4-10; Ps 91; Rom 10:8-13; Lk 4:1-13
1º Know & Love the Word of God. Today’s Gospel speaks of the temptation of Jesus after his forty days’ fast in the desert. After you go to Mass, discuss this reading with your children, emphasizing that temptation itself is not a sin, but we must use the Word of God to combat it, as Christ did. Believe it or not, demons step away from a person shielded by God’s Word.
2º Beware of the Prince of Lies. Satan’s lies are traps designed to “steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10). Lahat ng kasalanan ay nagsisimula sa kasinungalingan. (All sins start with lies.) Beware even of so-called innocent lies or so-called white lies. A lie is a lie is a lie no matter what color it is.
3º Beware of Satan’s Arena: Split-second thoughts. Satan is impatient. Why? Because he knows his days are numbered. God’s gift of eternity/ timelessness of time is Satan’s cause of envy. So, he tries to steal away this gift by manipulating man through idle time and split-second thoughts. Bantayan ang pag-gamit ng iyong panahon. Ang favorite ni Satan? Yung medaling mataranta and the procrastinators! So, guard your thoughts, especially your split-second thoughts.”Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”(2 Cor 10:5).
4º Pray. I know, this sounds like spiritualizing a very real thing as temptation. Good news! It IS spiritual! It’s a spiritual battle we need to win through spiritual training and practice. If split-second thoughts and human impulses are the arenas of demons, prayer is the Christian’s arena of victory. If you are losing ground in your thoughts, the temptations will find greater resistance when you take them before God in prayer.
5º Develop accountability in your life. Do not be anonymous in your Church and Community. The Spirit of God works powerfully through others to help us. Talk and pray with others about the areas where you struggle.
6º Control Your Impulses. Aside from having a Godly disposition, i.e., a deep awareness of God’s presence in one’s life, a very practical way to fight temptations is through “impulse control.” But this needs practice. Some personality types (like those with artisan temperament – “spring loaded” to act on impulse) may need more time for practice. To master this, you will need to use a time piece or just a simple common sense of time for practice. Train your mind to wait longer before you do something – like before deciding on something or just before your impulses & negative feelings push you to react negatively or sinfully against a person, an event, on a thought, due to fear or any negative emotion. During this micro pause, guess, preview, anticipate and take into account the consequences of your perceived action, behavior, word, etc.