As strange as it may sound, temptation is vital for our spiritual development. We wouldn’t be able to choose between good and evil if we weren’t tempted. And if we couldn’t pick the good when given a choice, we couldn’t progress spiritually.
Consistent obedience is one approach to resisting temptation. If you succumb to temptation on occasion, you will find it more difficult to resist in the future. When you regularly resist, you become stronger, and it becomes easier to resist in the future. Much of your ability to resist stems from the Savior’s Atonement at work in your life. The Lord strengthens you to resist temptation as you try your best to understand and follow the Savior’s teachings.
Temptation is defined by the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English as a strong want to have or do something even if you know you shouldn’t. As a result, the word implies that if we succumb to temptation, we are being ill-disciplined and may desire to sample the forbidden fruits. If we succumb to that desire, it has a negative connotation because it is not socially sanctioned.
Temptations can be found all around the world. They can take the shape of purchasing branded items, eating fried food when one’s health does not allow it, or being tempted to take things easy, lounge around, and not complete a task easily and efficiently despite the fact that the deadline is approaching.
Temptation is a constant in life, and whether or not one succumbs to it is determined by one’s character, more especially one’s discipline, and will. Discipline and will are developed by one’s principles or the lessons learned from previous temptations. For example, a student may be persuaded by his peers to go shopping and relax, despite the fact that a significant examination is approaching. If he does not succumb to the temptation, it is possible that he has been schooled from an early age to realize that engaging in short-term pleasures such as buying or frittering away one’s time can impede one’s pursuit of desired life objectives such as studying to do well in exams. It could also be that in the past he had yielded to temptation before and in this case, a lack of discipline to study, which resulted in bad grades.
A young student may be enticed to use illicit means such as cheating, lying, or stealing. As a teen, he is tempted by forbidden pleasures such as smoking, drug use, and gambling. As a young adult, he may be tempted to drink, charge excessive expenses on his credit card, or fabricate information on his CV. As someone gets older, he may be enticed to eat items that are not good for his health or age. Elderly folks may occasionally succumb to the attractions of con men who entice them with get-rich-quick schemes in exchange for investing their hard-earned savings with them.
Why is it socially unacceptable to succumb to temptations? This is due to the negative consequences of succumbing to such. A person who tries to smoke hurts his health and may possibly become addicted to drugs. A drug addict is a burden on himself, his family, and society. When the crime is found, an accountant who succumbs to the temptation of siphoning off his company’s funds will face the odium of social humiliation.
Ultimately, temptations are appealing by nature. This is frequently the case with prohibited fruit. On the opposite side, the grass is always greener. That milkshake may add unnecessary calories to the tiny woman, but it is also a temptation because it is restricted and rarely consumed. A diabetic loves dessert because of the pleasures of sugar, which he is not permitted to enjoy.
In religious traditions, the concept of temptation has a long history. Temptation is described in several faiths as a pull toward wicked or dangerous activity. Temptation is assigned to the devil in various Christian faiths, who tempts people to do wicked actions that separate them from God. Most Christian religions, for example, believe that Satan tempted Jesus for 40 days in the desert. Similar figures exist in different religions who lure individuals to participate in destructive or unethical acts.
A person who resists temptation is valued in society. In society, an incorruptible politician or a devoted husband supports desired moral standards. Consider a society in which people succumb to temptations such as breaking traffic laws or going on buying sprees. Society’s moral fiber will deteriorate. Temptations must thus be identified for what they are: alluring allures that must be avoided.