I’ve noticed a different approach. And I think I prefer it. Two of my mentors have talked about in different ways. One says, “lean into your fear.” The other often said, “Don’t run from a temptation—look it square in the eyes and then walk toward it, purposefully.” Over come it—don’t run away.
It stands to reason. If one avoids tempting situations, one can spend their entire life walking around tempting situations. It seems a very encumbered existence to walk around things all the time. Wouldn’t it be better if that tempting thing no longer had a leash on you? How does that happen? Jesus gives us an example of how to overcome temptation, with his desert experience. He confronts it with authority and with truth (Scripture).
I’ve also read an Eldridge book recently. His advice concurs. When Satan brings a situation of temptation into our lives—that very moment is a possibility for victory. We are not to run from it, for it is our big chance, it is our possibility for victory over the temptation. It is a matter of perspective—Is the glass half full or is it half empty? Is this your opportunity to set a precedent for overcoming this temptation or is it the moment to again bow to the temptation’s power over you?
The question Eldridge answers is, how does temptation not become temptation anymore? How does that addiction dissipate? How can one suddenly give a decided, “no” to something that once held him/her over the barrel.
It’s so simple but obscure and nonsensical to most. Healing is the answer. We are inexplicably drawn to/attached to the things that have hurt us deeply. Those incidents are written onto our souls. We grasp for salve that would heal us, but Satan stands there offering us salt for our wounds. We long for healing so much that we trick ourselves into believing that the bowl of salt is the salve. And we take it and apply it, only to come away with more pain in the same wound. The boy who broke up with me. And the boys who continue to break up with me. The friend who betrayed me. And the friends who continue to betray me. The church leader who humiliated me. And the authority figures who continue to humiliate me. If I am not healed, where healing is enabled by my forgiveness of the other, then this moment of my wounding will reoccur forever, presenting itself as a temptation to sin--forever.
Behind every temptation there is a wound. And behind every wound there is Jesus waiting to heal. Encountering the temptation involves an authentic encounter with the fears and terrors of one’s past woundings.
Therefore, lean into your fear. Grab your temptation by the horns and in the power and strength that God gives you—be an overcomer.
Gen 21:14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the