Thursday, November 09, 2006

Temptation

I'm sitting here staring at a bag of leftover Halloween candy, and thinking about the nature of temptation. I never eat candy (seriously... well, hardly ever) :). I'm no saint or anything, it just that the way I deal with that particular temptation is to never have any in the house. But here it is, and here I am... and man, that Reese's peanut butter cup has my name written all over it!

It's not just the candy that has me thinking about temptation. I'm working on the third book in my Nicki Styx series, and poor Nicki has some serious temptation on her hands. She's a former 'bad girl' who's trying very hard to be good, but the devil's in the details and the 'details' are pretty damn tempting. Which brings to mind a question I've wondered about for a long time: is being tempted as bad as actually acting on that temptation? Does the fact that we're tempted to do something make us as guilty as if we actually did it?

Take, for example, that hunky guy who works behind the counter of your local Starbucks. Does the fact that you'd rather have him than the Venti Mocha Latte make you a bad person? What about that adorable guy who works in the next cubicle? Does the fact that you look forward to seeing him everyday (even though you're married), fantasize about him (even though he's married) mean that you're mentally cheating? *Please note, Dear Reader, I work at home - but I've done my time in a cubicle. :) Dilbert has nothing on me...

Anyway, we're tempted all the time, aren't we? Tempted to do things we know we shouldn't - eat too much, drink too much, tell a little white lie here, a fib there, lie about our age, our weight, our successes, our failures, our whereabouts and our habits. Sometimes we give in to temptation with no real consequences - other times the consequences can be disastrous.

When you think of your greatest temptation, what comes to mind? I'd tell you mine, but my mouth's too full of Reese's peanut butter to talk clearly. :)

4 comments:

Teacher said...

Terri, I like your site. It is very interesting and this article on temptation is too. This is a great subject to deal with especially today because you're right Satan is always tempting us. Satan is committed and persistent on his job. Some other things about him is he makes what he has to offer looks and tastes good. It's not a sin to be tempted because we're always going to be tempted as long as this generous old wicked world exist. It's one thing to be tempted but it's another thing to fall prey to the temptation. We can't stop Satan from tempting us but we can control how we deal with the temptation. So I'm married and I've got a thing for the good looking guy behind the counter. Well, if I know this I don't have to set myself up for a fall. If I like going to the place where he works, I can still go but just not go when he is working. Another solution to that problem is to go to another StarBuck or a similar place. Pretty soon I'll forget all about him. We have to learn to beat Satan at his own game.
Someone once said, "We are going to think and we can't stop ourselves from thinking." "But we can control what we think." So it's like that with being tempted. We're going to be tempted and we can't stop ourselves from being tempted. But we can control our thinking concerning the temptations. WE DON'T HAVE TO GIVE IN...........

Terri said...

Very well put, Teacher. I think the gray area is when we know we're being tempted, but we kind of like being tempted... does that make any sense? Not everybody is strong enough to remove themselves from situations where they're 'skirting the edge', so to speak, because they don't want to remove themselves. I don't know - just something I ponder. :)

Janice Lynn said...

What? There are people who like being tempted??? Okay, so I'm teasing, but mainly because you're dead on, Terri. I think there are a lot of people who like being tempted--mostly because it puts them on the edge, gambling the things they value, which makes them feel alive. It's sad, but I see it happen time and again. Unfortunately few learn that temptation always looks better before you give in...well, almost always. ;)

tammy said...

Very interesting Terri, and even more interesting that you got through that post with all that Reese's in your mouth. ;-) Temptation is life if you ask me. Nobody goes through without some sort of temptation, after all - it is the nature of the beast to wonder about that greener grass. I don't think people get into trouble until they act on that temptation, or possibly when they reach a point where they start letting it take over their life. Now pass the Reese's!