"Mom....I'll treat you to a large diet coke with my Sonic gift card if you don't make me do math today."
I say, "No, Tucker"
He replies, "What if I wrap 8 crispy dollar bills around that Sonic gift card?"
He asks.... "For realz.....How can you resist me??"
"I don't know son...I don't know. Because after homeschooling you today....I could sure use a diet coke!"
The bribe always looks good. And touches a spot in our lives that makes it very enticing. In my story...it's diet coke. Trivial yes, but in a weird way, that drink had become an idol. I didn't think I could make it through a day without 1 or 5. And Tucker knows this has been a source of extreme discipline in our home over the last month. On January 1, I declared our home a diet coke free zone. "Don't bring it in the house", I declared. And so I've managed to control my cravings by the sheer absence of the drink....and an economy size bottle of aspirin for my detox headaches.
Temptation comes in many forms....not just bottled up in my 9 year old son. He's hilarious...but uses the same tactics as the enemy...who doesn't happen to be so hilarious or cute. I just happened to be very aware of Tucker's tactics....and not always so aware of the enemy's tactics. Why???....because I watch Tucker like a hawk. He's nine. He's a boy....you have to. Unfortunately I don't have that same awareness with the enemy. And yet...he's out to devour me....like a lion....to kill, steal and destroy me and my family....and I'm not even paying attention to all the traps He sets for me.
The trap of laziness
The trap of going through the motions
The trap of parenting from the couch
The trap of anger
The trap of negative thinking
The trap of worry
And so many more that the devil wants us to fall into.
So how do we avoid the traps?? Here's a couple of things I know work...and I'm sure there are more...
1. Get in God's Word....because light reveals darkness.
2. Pause....Andy Stanley has a great series that we are studying in small group...He believes...and I do too, that many temptations could be successfully overcome by pausing and thinking about the cost to your future, your family and your faith. I agree.
3. Look for the way of escape. In other words....WAKE UP. Look around...what are your other options?
So next time you're tempted to take the bribe...drink the diet coke, cave in the the craving, spout off in anger or worry over something you have no control over....think about a Savior...who has already come to your rescue...paid for those things your tempted with...and look for the way out...the way He has already prepared....and kick the enemy to the curb.