Why We Give in to Temptation

Why We Give in to Temptation

by Mike Emlet, Dean of Faculty at Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

“Why do we give in to temptation? This question often arises in the context of counseling for repetitive struggles such as pornography use, masturbation, substance abuse, and overeating. There are many biblical ways to answer this question, but I want to focus on just one: we give in to temptation because we get tired of fighting the battle. It feels too hard spiritually, emotionally, and physically to keep waging war against our flesh. Perseverance is uncomfortable, especially when you’ve given in to that temptation so many times before. It seems to have more power over you than you do to fight it. So it’s easier to give in and move on rather than continue to resist. The thought of another day, even another hour, of wrestling with that insistent and persistent desire is too much to handle. There is a paradoxical relief in succumbing (albeit often with guilt, shame, and other consequences). The spiritual slate is wiped clean. The clock can be reset with a fresh start and fresh resolve. At least this is often our experience, namely that the way out of temptation is to give in to temptation in a particular moment. But what encouragement does God give to us in the throes of battle?”