Watching London play this morning I noticed how terrible she is at fighting temptation. Here’s her technique:
1. Get as close as she can to the temptation. Sometimes she will put her face just inches away from the thing that’s off limits (What? She’s not touching it.)
2. Get friendly with the temptation. She smiles at it, waves to it, and otherwise communicates, “It’s not that I don’t like you—I do. My mom just won’t let me play with you.” This happens with cookies, bugs, pointy objects, you name it.
3. Get loud. When London realizes that she very much wants what she’s not allowed to have, she starts shouting. Not at me, not into the air with a raised, closed fist. She shouts at the temptation. Just today I saw her pointing her finger and yelling, “No, no, no, no…” at my cup of diet coke.
Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that London’s “techniques” are foolish and counterintuitive. But she’s a baby, so I don’t expect anything more. What I realized though, watching her yield to temptation repeatedly, was that she looked a lot like an adult, like lots of adults I know—including myself.
For one, we feel pretty comfortable cozy-ing right up to temptation. I go see an R-rated movie and then act shocked when the next day I’m thinking in cuss words.
Lately, it’s popular for Christians to act like temptation’s friend. We say things like, “That’s awesome, but I’m a Christian so I can’t…” We laugh at filthy jokes, and otherwise exude warm fuzzies in sin’s general direction.
Other people use London’s last technique. So tempted by homosexuality, violence, or whatever, they start yelling at it—making a scene perhaps to avoid suspicion.
The point is that fighting temptation like London does is ridiculous. She hardly ever wins. The times she does win, she uses her one effective maneuver: She runs away.
My advice for dealing with temptation? Run away.