Self Temptation

James 1:14-15

..but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Sometimes we’re too quick to blame our temptation on the Devil and the culture. Is it true that temptation arises from these sources? Yes, it is. However, often times our temptation originates from within. It begins when we are dragged away and enticed. What does that mean? It means our focus shifts away from what matters most and we become distracted with what fulfills the least. Many of us have reels of old footage from past porn binges, affairs, strip clubs and chat lines that we can recollect and thereby be enticed. When we engage that footage and allow ourselves to fantasize about it we are being dragged away; or to put it in context of the verse, we are dragging ourselves away. Where is that going to lead us?
We also experience temptation as a form of dealing with our emotions. Some of us have learned that emotions such as anger, insignificance, loneliness, rejection, fear, failure and disappointment can be numbed and soothed by engaging sexual thoughts. Unfortunately, it is easier to engage those thoughts and medicate rather than to deal with the emotions appropriately. It was very difficult for me to accept this truth and to learn to deal with my emotions in healthy ways. It was especially difficult to learn how to process my emotions with other people. I wanted to keep it all bottled up and to myself. I didn’t want to weigh anyone down with my junk. I wanted people to think I had it altogether; that I wasn’t needy. The truth is: we’re all needy and sometimes we have to get needy out loud.
Whether to numb feelings or to excite ourselves, we are giving birth to sin and ultimately that will give way to death. We have to take ownership for our self-temptation and be willing to engage our neediness, and surrender ourselves to God.

A couple of questions to consider:

1 – In what ways do you tempt yourself, effectively dragging yourself away to be enticed?

2 – Have you turned these things over to God and others? If not, how about telling God and others about it today.

4 thoughts on “Self Temptation

  1. So many people think that a man’s pornography addiction is about sex. In over 90% of the cases, they are wrong. Pornography addiction is like any other addiction. It’s about low self esteem, fear, depression, etc. It’s another means (other than alcohol or drugs) of feeling good about yourself. The sad thing is, many people don’t realize this, and that includes a lot of wives and girlfriends.

    • I have been impressed with the role of “Control” in instigating an addiction. It’s a paradox…but, the addict is experiencing an illusion of “control” when the decision is made to advance into a perverted action. Of course the mind is tricking him…as he is in fact being “controlled”. I believe we have an innate desire to be a controller, i.e. be in charge…where we find significance. And then find ourselves in trouble.
      Does this concept have merit?
      Thank you…for your postings. With appreciation…jim anderton

  2. I have always known that it was wrong of me to look at porn and to fufill that desire that I still to this day cannot control. There is no explanation I can think of that ties into my addiction for it other than it being a habit that increases in my life. I am happy and have a wonderful girlfriend that I live with, but yet I still turn to porn and have such a strong urge. Can anyone help me with some advice to control and terminate this urge so that I can feel okay about myself.

  3. It’s all about handling your instincts and desires, taking self control and looking at yourself as an individual, not letting others distort your mind! We fail when we lookk at ourselves negatively!

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