The message of temptation

I am convinced temptation is not a fixed concept, but rather a relative idea. Two people can face the same opportunity, but only person A is tempted. Yet the same people could face a different opportunity, but now only person B is tempted. If the appeal is relative and the situations were the same, what exactly is the temptation? Temptation then cannot be the physical forms of events, but the nature of an inner appeal. We can substitute the word appeal for temptation to get a different picture. What appeals to a person is secretly desired within, and what is desired always attracts and is itself attracted. So, it is the nature of our desires that causes us to be “attracted” and “magnetized” by a situation. The “drawing” of this magnetism is what we call “appeal”.

A child wants to touch the flame of a candle, but its mother forbids him. While his mother steps away for a moment, the child stares at the candle covetously. His passion burns fiercely as he is tempted to touch it. The appeal of the candle is so great to him. In this situation, though the child thinks it is, the candle is not really the temptation. Rather, it is his fascination with the ideas he has developed about the candle and the tantalizing mystique he has woven around it that draws him to it. It is the same with adults. Our cultivated ideas about a situation and our corresponding fascination for it is what forms the binding hook that we call temptation or “appeal”.

So, temptation is when our own desires approach us, reinforced by opportunity. It is when the vast web of our unconquered desires tug and pull at us to openly reveal the extent of our entanglement. In a way it is helpful, for it alerts us of our bindings so we can struggle free. Otherwise we might not know we are caught in a web, and then the spider of darkness would easily swallow us without resistance. Thus the feeling of temptation is actually a call for the struggle to freedom.

~Ikenna Q Ezealah

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