Do you find yourself tempted all the time? How can you be rid of your temptations? How do you know when to fight or when to flee from these thoughts towards sin?
Don’t despair or be afraid because you’re experiencing temptation! Instead, tackle temptations. Resisting temptation can strengthen the soul, encourage a greater relationship with God, and many other healthy Christian practices. The devil is attacking your heart and mind because he knows way to shove you away from God. Fight back and find out more about where temptations come, what they mean, and how to defeat them with the help of Father P.J. Micahel’s newest book.
Here are 10 good things that can come from temptation!
1. Temptations can lead Christians to more solid virtues and greater merits of Heaven
Even though the devil uses temptation to cause us to stray from the path to Heaven, resisting his evil works can make us better Christians! Father Michel writes, “It is a great consolation to think that we can derive advantages from the very enemies that assail us and make them contribute to our happiness.”
Saint James agrees with Father Michel – “Esteem it, my brethren, all joy, when you shall fall into diverse temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience and patience worketh perfection” (James 1:2-4). So while the devil may think he has us in his grip, we can actually turn his temptations into motivation to fight for a better Christian life!
2. Temptations reveal the interior of our heart and tear away all of our disguises
Being tempted is a good way to keep pride in check. Even very holy people are not exempt from being tempted – Christ Himself was tempted! Father Michel writes, “It is a secret spring of pride and vanity, which exalts them in their own eyes, puffs them up with satisfaction, leads them to rely on their own strength, and keeps them in a rash and dangerous feeling of security.”
The subtle poison of pride, false security in the interior of the heart, and disguises that are put on to hide weakness are all exposed and destroyed when temptation is recognized and combated.
3. Temptations can inspire humility within us
When we are tempted, Christ calls us to learn a lesson in humility.
Father Michel writes, “The first effect produced in us by such a sight is to inspire a humility proportioned to the misery that is thereby made known to us, where there is subject only for humility and contempt.”
4. Temptations discourage complacency
Without temptation or battles against the devil, souls can grow complacent in their journey towards Heaven. Father Michel says that by fighting temptation, we avoid growing soft in the battle for our souls.
He write, “The complacency that we might feel at the sight of certain good qualities that we possess is soon lowered by that crowd of evil inclinations which we must wage unceasing warfare.”
5. Temptations offer us opportunities to draw closer to God
Who better to help us during times of trial than God Himself? When temptations arise, God calls His children to draw even deeper of His mercy.
“The contrast of our unworthiness and the divine goodness,” writes Father Michel, “excites the liveliest gratitude and inspires a more perfect love.”
6. Temptations point us towards faith, hope, charity and other virtues
When someone is tempted, a good response is to grow in virtue to combat the temptation.
Father Michel writes, “With the conviction that we are unworthy of the benefits that we receive at His hands and that flow from His infinite mercy, we strive to deepen still more our humility, that virtue at once so necessary and the mother of so many of other virtues.”
7. Temptations make us more vigilant against the devil
When a Christian is aware of temptation, we become vigilant against the strategies of the devil because we are aware of how he works in our soul.
“A Christian avoids with care whatever may excite the temptations to which he is subject, whatever may give rise to new and untried dangers.” Father Michel also writes, “He knows who it is that says, ‘He that loveth danger shall perish in it’….and this vigilance is an assured bulwark against temptations, whether from without or within.”
8. Temptations break the idle calm in our souls
By fighting temptations, Christians cannot become lazy or idle in the work for the salvation of their souls.
Father Michel writes, “Temptations come to awaken slumbering piety, and God, enlightening them as to their state, draws them kindly to Him by His grace.”
9. Temptations give us something to offer up to God
Christ, too, was tempted by the devil. We can unite our resistance of temptation and offer up our sacrifices to God!
Father Michel, writing on the service we can offer God by our temptation, writes, “God wishes you to serve Him by a faithful and persevering resistance to all the inspirations of the enemy, by which he strives to seduce and separate you from the divine love; that, like the Jews rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, one hand should grasp the sword of defensive warfare while the other labors to erect the spiritual edifice of perfection in a sentiment of lively faith and an unshaken hope – a hope, I mean, unshaken in your will, however it may seem to waver in your imagination.”
10. The battle against temptation means an eternity of glory!
Even though, in the middle of fighting temptation, the work doesn’t’ seem worth it, the reward for resisting temptation is immense.
“If the contest is severe, the crown is brilliant; one minute of pain and an eternity of glory! And who would wish to exchange glory for a minutes’ gratification?”
BY CHLOE MOORADIAN