Overcome Temptation

As we look at the business environment…as we look at parenting our kids…as we look at the daily barrage of possible choices we could make, we realize that we are constantly faced with temptation. We are constantly inundated with opportunities to give into temptation.    And everyone wants to know how to overcome temptation… until the moment that are in it…

Jesus offers an upside down paradigm for addressing temptation. This principle is the secret to overcoming temptation.   It may seem counter-intuitive, it may seem confusing at first, but if you can “get it”, it can change everything.  To overcome temptation,  when you are tempted to take the short gain… Go Long!!   (repeat)  When we most want the short gain, we need to Go Long!!   In every temptation, there is a tendency to be caught in the moment. To only see the short term.  And miss the Long Game. To miss the bigger picture. To see what is fully at stake in this moment.  To not see the connection between this temptation, this decision, this circumstance and a much  bigger picture.


  • In the short term, lying will probably make your life easier…
  • In the short term, fudging the form will get you some extra money…
  • In the short term, holding back the truth will probably help you avoid an awkward conversation and not hurt someone’s feeling…
  • In the short term, one more dessert isn’t going to hurt anyone…
  • In the short term, one little look at that website isn’t going to destroy your life…
  • In the short term, one little flirtatious look might be fun and harmless…
  • In the short term, profit over people… gossip about colleague…

That’s the whole point of temptation. It will get you and I to focus on the short term. To stare into the “immediate,” but overcoming temptation is about an upside paradigm.   When you want the short gain, you need to go long.


Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

Notice that Jesus is lead into the wilderness. It is hear that he facing temptation.   And notice the short term problem. he is hungry. he is really famished.  His appetites are screaming, “Feed me.”    And The temptor appeals to his short term appetites….His appetites for food, “If you are hungry, make some food”… and his appetite for “proving himself” by saying “If you are the son of God…”   Temptation always appeals to our short term appetites.


  • Our appetite for revenge…
  • Our appetite for proving we are right…
  • Our appetite to prove we are “somebody…” by overspending…
  • Our appetites for power by telling someone off..
  • Our appetite for lust… But that short term appetites will be the death of us.

Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf. The account is grisly, yet it offers fresh insight into the consuming, self-destructive nature of sin. First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder the wolf licks the blade in the arctic night. So great becomes his craving for blood that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his OWN warm blood. His carnivorous appetite just craves more—until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!


How did the Eskimo kill the wolf?  By appealing to His Short Term Appetites.   When he most wanted the short term “taste” of blood… he needed to go long, and see the sharp blade hidden within….This is what happens with temptation. You are so caught up in the Here and Now…the short run, that you miss the Long Term.  You miss the impending danger for yourself and others. The wolf was focused on the short term, not the long term. The immediate, not the impending.  He, like us, needs to Go Long and realize that temptation affects your Future.

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posted March 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Spot on! Satan doesn’t appeal so much to the future but to the immediate. And he knows his prey so very well. He tailor fits temptation to each individual and knows us better than we know ourselves.

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