Know your triggers to conquer them

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Gracious Father,
I’m woefully weak and succumb to temptation.
Please forgive my failures and bless my efforts to follow Your Lead in all areas of my life.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Matthew 4:1-11

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Jesus was simultaneously fully God (Colossians 2:9) and fully man (Luke 2:52). As the latter, He experienced temptation just like we do (Hebrews 4:15). Yet He never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). Jesus lived by, taught and conquered temptation through Scripture.

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Mark had finished his worksheet in class. He was bored. So he did what anyone else would. He sought company. He wandered all around the classroom waving and saying, “Hi!” to each of his classmates—disrupting each and every one of the other students in the process. While I absolutely want to encourage Mark’s efforts to make social connections, both his teacher and I were very disappointed with his choice of timing.

It feels like I’m constantly correcting my son’s behavior. But that’s because I am. He has a very low IQ, and so he struggles tremendously with making the right choice in different situations. It’s not for lack of knowledge. Question him just moments afterward, and he can accurately tell you what he should have done and why. It’s beyond frustrating for both of us.

The real issue is that he needs a buffer. He desperately needs space in order to better make a careful, intentional choice about his actions. The challenge in all of this is getting him to press the virtual “pause” button so that he can actually think beforehand.

As frustrated as I get with Mark, I get it. I’m the exact same way. I give in to temptation because I don’t first pause myself. I lose my temper. I lash out. I don’t practice patience. Admittedly, Mark and I are getting a lot of practice with forgiveness, especially between each other. But we both desperately need to practice pausing too.

Fortunately, Jesus’ own experience with temptation can serve as an example for us all. Christ didn’t react. He didn’t give in to what His human nature wanted. Instead, He carefully responded. And when we practicing pausing, we can learn to do this too.

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:16-17 (ESV)

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What are your triggers? What makes it difficult to stop? Search through God’s Word to find personally meaningful Scripture verse to help you stand strong on.

Identify specific ways you can bring these to mind quickly when you need them.

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