Delay and Distract

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. - Matthew 26:41

Have you ever noticed that no matter how strong the struggles with our appetites may be, most of them only last a few minutes? It’s true. And so I want to talk with you about a tactic that’ll help you make good choices in these times: distraction and delay.

When facing temptation, try to delay your decision to act upon the desire you’re experiencing for fifteen to thirty minutes. What you’ll find is that you’ve gained a great deal of perspective and resolve in that relatively short but very important interval.

But while you’re delaying, make sure to use some kind of distraction or diversion—one that will allow you to think clearly about the choice you must make, while at the same time allowing you to distance yourself a bit from the temptations that cloud your decision. If you don’t join distraction or diversion with your delay, you’ll probably find yourself just watching the clock and thinking about how much longer you have before you get to indulge.

Get involved with something else. If your desire has passed, then great—you’ve successfully avoided something you didn’t really want and probably didn’t need!  But if thirty minutes passes and you still want whatever it is you’re desiring—and that something isn’t destructive—then go ahead and enjoy it, in moderation!

“A delay is better than a disaster.” - Unknown
 

 

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Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.