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Sin is deceptive – making promises it can never deliver. And part of the power of its deception is that it takes something good and distorts it – giving us the counterfeit and not the real thing. But in this way, we can also let our temptations teach us about the original goodness our souls are craving. 

For example, junk food is appealing because it exploits our natural cravings. And while it tastes good, it never truly satisfies and just keeps us wanting more. But we don’t overcome our temptation to junk food by denying the fact that we still get hungry. Rather, we learn to train our appetite for what’s healthy and good so that junk food starts to lose its appeal. 

Even still when we find ourselves craving junk food again we know how to listen for what our bodies actually need. And the craving might be a clue of where we need to balance our diet, or even pointing to other movements of our heart that have nothing to do with food directly. 

All our temptations can be viewed in this way – reverse engineering the distortion to discover the original goodness. 

For instance, our temptation toward pride might be pointing to our legitimate desires to understand our purpose and the meaningful role we’re to play in God’s story. 

Sexual temptations might point to our desires to be uniquely chosen and affirmed. 

And our tendency toward anger might reveal our deep passion for justice. 

Time and again we’re tempted when we’re seduced to fulfill good desires in ungodly ways. But wisdom reminds us not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In fact, we make it more difficult to find freedom from our temptations when we do. 

In the end, stand firm in resisting your temptations. But learn also what they’re teaching you about the good your soul is craving and how to pursue this goodness in the light rather than the darkness. 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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