How to Deal with Temptation
2008 has begun. Perhaps you have noticed as I have that unfinished business, no matter what it is, is surfacing now and sometimes in forceful ways. We are being pushed into seeking solutions as if we alone were the only ones who could find them. And secrets....forget about keeping them. When I said unfinished business was surfacing I wasn't kidding. You may think you can hide something, but really you can't. This year we will face ourselves and all that we have builded ourselves to be. We cannot blame anyone else for what has happened to us or where in life we are. This is the year of the individual - who must cooperate with others in new ways to heal long-standing problems and prosper financially. We need each other, yet we must stand on our own feet and face our mistakes and our ignorance, before we can join hands to uplift the whole. Money matters will be a central focus, along with power shifts and weather surprises. We are in the times of The Great Shifting. Hang on. It will be an exciting ride!
"My name is Ralph. One day I stumbled across the Near-Death website, looking for consequences of suicide. Well, upon reading through the material, I came to your question and answer page!
"I am currently struggling with temptation, which doesn't necessarily get me into trouble, but I feel that in God's eyes it is not right!
"Therefore, it brings about guilt, and a sort of learned helplessness, that I will always be tempted and never be able to break free of these bonds! Therefore, I feel that when I pass, I will be judged accordingly to what I have done, and what I have not done!
"I guess lately I've been thinking a lot about death, and how this world is nothing but a training ground for the soul, but feel I am failing at this test! Alcohol, and other temptresses are around every corner, but some days, it's hard to stave them off! Though, afterwards, I guess it acts as motivation to turn more towards God and to ask him for his help! However, I feel that I ask too much from God, and that in the end, he will begin to turn away! Perhaps it is I who is turning away?
My question would be, do you have any advice on how to deal with temptation, and to keep it from loosing one's soul?" Ralph
Ralph, there is no such thing as asking too much of God. Not possible. God is always there, in you, around you, beyond you, listening, waiting. There is no place where God is not. So, don't worry about God. Our concern here is you.
First, sign yourself up for AA and attend every meeting and work their program. Stay with it. Commit yourself. Then, go to Barnes & Noble Bookstore, magazine section, and purchase the small digest-sized magazine called "Science of Mind." Read the articles. All of them and every month. In the middle of the magazine are the "Daily Guides to Richer Living." They are like a "sermon for the day." To change your life you must change your thinking. That's what the Science of Mind emphasizes. It helps you to change your thinking and put things in perspective. You might take advantage of some home-study classes they offer. I did after I died. It was one of the best investments in time and money I ever made. Find yourself a Unity Church nearby also or perhaps a Church of Religious Science, or something similar. These churches are centered around the truth that you are a divine being and you have the right to a good life. No matter what you've done previously, you can start over - today! If you are lucky enough to live in southern California, get yourself over to the Agape Center in Culver City and hear a sermon or two offered by Rev. Michael Beckwith. A more powerful, dynamic minister you will not find. He speaks from his heart and that core of truth we can all reach and operate from.
The temptations you speak of are all products of the same thing: signs of low-self-esteem and depression. It's you not valuing yourself. If you value yourself, you are not tempted by such things. Doesn't matter your past. We've all made mistakes, some are more grievious than others. Begin again, do the best you can to correct your mistakes, forgive, reconcile, and then move on. Forgive yourself, too.
Drugs, alcohol, depression, crime, cruelty, abuse, abandonment - all are signs of self-hate. Let me tell you something and please hear me. YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. YOU ALWAYS WERE, YOU ARE NOW, AND YOU ALWAYS WILL BE. This is your birthright as a human being. Act like what you are, who you are. Pick yourself up and hold steady. A better diet, fresh air, and exercise will help you to think more clearly, as will classes and workshops that are based on self-development and spirituality. And don't claim that you do not have enough money. You can always afford what you really want.
If you want to avoid temptation, find yourself, heal yourself, love yourself. This is the Grace of God. The ball is in your court.