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Temptation is a desire to engage in short-term urges for enjoyment that threatens long-term goals.[1] In the context of some religions, temptation is the inclination to sin. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss something important to a person.


In the context of self-control and ego depletion, temptation is described as an immediate, pleasurable urge and/or impulse that disrupts an individuals ability to wait for the long-term goals, in which that individual hopes to attain.[1]

More informally, temptation may be used to mean "the state of being attracted and enticed" without anything to do with moral, ethical, or ideological valuation; for example, one may say that a piece of food looks "tempting" even though eating it would result in no negative consequences.

Research suggests that there are paradoxical effects associated with temptation.[1] Implicit in all the forms in which temptation can present itself there is a set of options that may facilitate high moral standards in decision-making.

A research article was written by Vanchai Ariyabuddhiphongs, a professor at Bangkok University, about the motivational and persuasive negative effects of such temptations such as money, that can push one to disregard religious beliefs whether it be Buddhism, Christianity etc.. He says that when given an opportunity at a large amount of money we have a greater chance of harming, stealing, partaking in sexual misconduct, or abusing substances. This idea of money as a negative persuasion tactic in regards to the religions mentioned above, is psychologically proven to affect our cognitive ability to make decisions. Vanchai's article talked solely on Buddhist practices but it is believed that it could be broadened to all beliefs. Our religious beliefs may define who we are as spiritual people, but this article described how an outside source can push those thoughts away and look to benefit us in a way that may include disregarding religion .[2]

In the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition, temptation is broken down into 6 distinct steps or stages: provocation, momentary disturbance of the intellect, coupling, assent, prepossession, and passion.[3]

Temptation is usually used in a loose sense to describe actions which indicate a lack of self-control. Temptation is something that allures, excites, and seduces someone. Successful endeavors of goal-driven activity is threatened by the tempting nature of immediate pleasure [1] Infatuation can also lead to temptation as someone might do something for love in spite of one's better judgement.

Research has found that components of an assessment that would allow for an individual to precisely understand the influence of self-control and other potential or protective variables on the process, experience, and resolution of temptation.[1]

Generally individuals experience temptations in both positive and negative terms. For example, there is an individual who may experience temptation in the form of fearing the potential negative implications and consequences that can arise, whether it is in the context of standards or accountability related to the self, society, and/or the transcendent, including condemnation from one's conception of deity, higher power, or sense of responsibility to the universe or nature.[1]

Another example, an individual may view their experience of temptation as an opportunity for growth, it could be intrapersonal growth, interpersonal growth, and/or transcendent growth, which includes recognizing constructive and/or collaborative interactions with the transcendent.[1]

There are valenced effects on a variety of outcomes from temptation. Such as the health and well-being of an individual. There is also the relief of stress that an individual may be experiencing.[1] For example, undesirable, "illicit, and/or transcendent conflicts underlying the successful or failed resolution of the experience of temptation will likely have facilitative or debilitative effects on myriad aspects of physical health, mental health, and well-being".[1]An individual's experience with temptation may influence a person's future experiences, predict future possibilities, and outcomes.[1]

When an individual is attempting to address or resolve a complex experience of temptation, including transcendent levels and potential negative and positive expressions.[1] For example, "mindfulness, humility, prayer, meditation, reframing, resoluteness, determination,other spiritual and/or positive psychological variables may be facilitators, or perhaps alternatives to, self-control as the primary arbiter of temptation".[1]

Self-control is commonly used by an individual to resist temptation. B. F. Skinner stated 9 methods for achieving this.[4]Self-control is considered by some to be a limited resource, which is depleted by use.[5][1] Some believe that self-control can be replenished and thus that the immediate effects of an individual's depleted self-control can be overcome, and that an individual must be able to identify the presence of a temptation (i.e., short-term desire) before self-control can affect an outcome.[1]

1 Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

Temptation is an ever-present danger to the believer and to the cause of Christ in the world. Yet, temptation also demonstrates that believers may have victory, both positionally in Christ through His victory and in our own lives.

Positionally, we are secure in the righteousness won by Christ in His life lived and His death for our sins. Volitionally, we may be saved from temptation by the strengthening of the inner man, the sanctifying of all parts of our being, and the careful attendance to the means of grace: Word, Sacrament, and Prayer.

Temptation is here taken to be an incitement to sin whether by persuasion or by the offer of some good or pleasure. It may be merely external, as was the case of Christ's encounter in the desert after the forty days' fast; or it may be internal as well, inasmuch as there is a real assault upon a person's will power. It arises sometimes from the propensity to evil inherent in us as a result of original sin. Sometimes it is directly chargeable to the intervention of the Devil, who can furnish the imagination with its sinful subject-matter and stir up the lower powers of the soul. Not infrequently both causes are at work. Temptation is not in itself sin. No matter how vivid the unholy image may be, no matter how strong the inclination to transgress the law, no matter how vehement the sensation of unlawful satisfaction, as long as there is no consent of the will, there is no sin. The very essence of sin in any grade is that it should be a deliberate act of the human will. Attack is not synonymous with surrender. This, while obvious enough, is important especially for those who are trying to serve God sedulously and yet find themselves beset on all sides by temptations. They are apt to take the fierceness and repetition of the onset as proof that they have fallen. A wise spiritual guide will point out the error of this conclusion and thus administer comfort and courage to these harassed souls.

Temptations are to be combated by the avoidance, where possible, of the occasions that give rise to them, by recourse to prayer, and by fostering within oneself a spirit of humble distrust of one's own powers and of unbounded confidence in God. The resistance which a Christian is bound to offer need not always be direct. Sometimes, particularly when there is question of reiterated evil interior suggestions, it may be useful to employ an indirect method, that is, to simply ignore them and quietly divert the attention into another channel. Temptations as such can never be intended by God. They are permitted by Him to give us an opportunity of practising virtue and self mastery and acquiring merit. The fact of temptation, no matter how large it looms in a person's life, is not an indication that such an one is under the ban. Indeed those whom God calls to special heights of sanctity are just those who may expect to have to wrestle bravely with temptations more numerous and fearsome than fall to the lot of the average mortal.

To be fair, the Corinthians had more reason than most to see their temptations as especially intense. Few cities were as inhospitable to holiness as ancient Corinth. Boastful, lustful, idolatrous, vain, Corinthian sin walked every street and stood on every corner. Many in the church apparently felt pressed beyond their powers of endurance; they felt pushed down the hallway of temptation until the only door they could see read sin. There seemed to be no way out.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I found the triple nut temptation bar at a shop in an airport (frankly it's been some time and I don't remember which one) and I needed some dark chocolate. I was astounded at the chocolate and the fresh roasted nuts. It is easily my favorite chocolate bar, ever. I order them by the box and always keep them in the house. Because you never know when you are going to need chocolate--might as well enjoy the best.

Particularly Western TemptationsWhile most people may or may not consider procrastination and anxiety to be especially sinful, they are the temptations Americans are most likely to admit struggling with. Three out of five (60%) Americans say they are tempted to worry or be anxious and the same number say procrastination or putting things off is a serious temptation for them. In a similar vein, 41% of Americans say they are tempted to be lazy and not work as hard as they should. As with most of the other temptations, Millennials are more likely to admit they wrestle with these productivity-related temptations and each older generation is less likely to say so. Interestingly, when it comes to these work-related temptations, Protestants are more likely than Catholics to say they struggle with these (57% of Protestants say procrastination is a temptation and 40% admit to being lazy verses 51% and 28% of Catholics, respectively). 041b061a72


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