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“Inevitably, the pain that follows sin is greater than the pain of struggling against temptation. Likewise, the pain caused by our sinful acts exceeds the momentary pain of refusing to indulge in the pleasures of the moment. If we reflect on our own experience with sin, we may confirm these truths for ourselves. We remember the sting of shame, guilt, confusion, and anguish, and the loss of our peace, purity, and clarity.” (Dynamis 9/23/2020)

“…sin and pain are transferred from one person or group to another; how the pain of being a victim can be used as a sort of weapon, or a kind of motivation or even a justification to oppress and victimize others. This cycle of anger and fear and hate, of oppression and victimization leading to more oppression and victimization can only be broken when we entrust our lives to Christ. When we entrust our lives, our families, our Church to Christ, then whatever happens, we know that Christ will be with us in it. This is how the martyrs were able to stay faithful through every trial and temptation. This is how you and I will be able to overcome fear and to love even those who are, or seem to be, our enemies. And when we are able, somehow with God’s help, to respond to anger with peace and respond to evil with good, then the cycle of sin and pain begins to be broken, then you and I are actually becoming like Christ.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“Every single one of us must remain on guard against our familiar temptations that threaten to make us unrecognizable as living icons of Christ. No matter what they may be, we are all in the same boat in this regard. It is no sin to be tempted in any way, but when we welcome any tempting thought into our hearts, we open ourselves to its malignant growth in our lives. People overcome by pride, anger, lust, envy, or any other sin embrace their own personal disintegration, for whenever we orient the desires of our hearts away from God in order to fulfill them on our own terms, we refuse to fulfill our vocation as those called to become evermore like God in holiness. That is the only way to become our true selves in Him, but so often we prefer to be out of our minds with passion of whatever kind, doing our best to live as those stripped naked of the divine glory and pursuing a path that leads only to the despair and isolation of the grave.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“St. John Cassian believed temptations are the means by which we show whether or not we really are faithful to God. He didn’t see temptations as evil, but rather opportunities to show us where we are in our spiritual journey. God wants us to choose to love Him, serve Him and obey Him. Spiritual tests of various sorts give us opportunity to show God we desire to be His children and are willing to struggle in the spiritual warfare to overcome our own temptations and sins. So, we don’t want to ask God to remove all ‘tests’ from us, but rather we seek God’s aid in the time of temptation so that we will not be overcome by them, and to show God that we really do love Him more than we love our own desires.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Above all, from the Mother of God, we learn obedience and simplicity. These virtues are reliable defenses against temptation. As we see in the story of the fall, temptation is rarely blatant and obvious. We know it by its subtlety. As Paul suggests [2 Cor. 11:1-6], by cleverness and deceit, the devil sows the tiniest, most subtle seeds of confusion. Confusion leads to mistrust of God’s graciousness. Mistrust of God’s goodness leads to overt temptation. As it flowers into fruit that is delightful to the eyes, temptation becomes overt sin. And finally, sin excuses itself with rationalization.” (Fr. Basil)

“Once, the monk John the Short told the desert father Poeman that he had asked the Lord to take away his passions. John said that the Lord answered his prayer, and he was at peace: the warfare between flesh and spirit in his heart was over. Poeman replied, “Go and ask the Lord to stir up in you a new battle against the passions. Fighting against temptation is good for the soul.” When the passions attacked John once more, he did not pray for the end of the fight against them. He only prayed, “Lord grant me the strength to endure it.” (Fr. Basil)

“A saint is different from a sinner, not because he or she is not tempted in the same way but because he or she is not defeated even by a great assault, while the other is overcome even by a slight temptation. The strength of any good person would not, as we said, be worthy of praise, if the victory was gained without being tempted. Most certainly there is no room for victory where there is no struggle and conflict.” (St. John Cassian)

“By mindfully recognizing our temptations for what they are and turning to Christ in humility for the strength to resist them, we will become more like the man after he was delivered from the demons, fully clothed and in his right mind as he sat at the feet of the Savior. We have put on Christ like a garment in baptism. He has restored to us the robe of light that our first parents rejected when they stripped themselves naked of the divine glory. Our calling is to invest ourselves as fully as possible in the restoration and fulfillment that the God-Man shares with each of us as His uniquely distinctive sons and daughters. Doing so is the complete opposite of fueling the disintegration of our personalities by mindlessly giving into temptations that mar the beauty of our souls, regardless of how appealing or familiar they may seem. The more that we surrender to them, the less strength we will gain in becoming our true selves before God.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Sometimes we are tempted by thoughts of wild, scummy images. Those thoughts are not sin. If we are tempted by luscious, attractive images, that is not sin. Those thoughts don’t make us dirty old men or women. No, those thoughts are temptations. The moment we become aware of our thoughts, that is the moment of truth. If we relinquish the thoughts in prayer or simply turn to something else, that constitutes victory. If, however, we indulge those thoughts and magnify them, then that is sin. It is no sin to be tempted sorely.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)

“Lab research shows that human beings have a limited amount of willpower in any given situation and that our willpower can be depleted, just like any other resource. This is precisely why, if you try to run the Christian life on willpower alone, sooner or later you will run into trouble. This is not to say that willpower is bad, as some Christians have taught. Willpower is good, and each one of us should work on increasing our willpower .However, the surest defense against temptation lies not in willpower but in habituation.” (Robin Phillips)

“Paul admits that he has great anxiety for the churches in the religion of Colossae [Colossians 2:1-7]. He is worried that false teachers will lead the believers away from their faith in Christ. But note that Paul does not pray that the deceivers will suddenly disappear. Nor does the Apostle pray that the believers will find arguments to refute their tempters. Paul only prays for the faithful to be encouraged amid this temptation. You see, the trials of their souls allowed them to grow in their faith:  to love one another more closely, to believe more confidently, and to understand more deeply.” (Fr. Basil)

“Repeated indulgence may sear and deaden our healthy pangs of conscience (1 Tim 4:2), and yet, deep in the recesses of our hearts, the painful memories of sin remain. God in His mercy allows this after-pain of sin to encourage us not to do wrong again.” (Dynamis 9/23/2020)

“Here are a few things to know and always recall about temptation. First, the enemy hates us and will always tempt us, especially if we have a strong desire and heart for the Lord. We should expect temptations. We will be tempted in areas where we are weak and also in unexpected areas. Second, when we pray it is ok to pray for the temptation to be taken away, but more so for the strength and courage to endure the temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit. If the temptation doesn’t go away it doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us. It’s often quite the opposite. He wills for us to grow in faith and grow strong in Him and we do so through how we deal with temptations. We should simply praise God, stay prayerful, go to Church, absorb the scriptures, and use the tools the Lord has given us to fight the unseen enemy and remain in union with Him.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“And just as the Lord Jesus overcame all temptations because His sole intention was to do the will of the Father, so we are to accept the grace that is offered to us by the Holy Spirit in order that we can do likewise. Only with the Spirit’s help can we possibly master our passions, and only if we conquer our obsessions will we be free to offer ourselves as gifts of love to the loving God. It will require long and patient endurance of all the trials that come our way. Rather than expecting deliverance from the tests of life, we ought to welcome them as opportunities to see what we are made of, how well we meet the moment of examination, and what more needs to be achieved before we can feel we are victors over sin.” (Very Rev. John Breck)

“We should never flatter ourselves by thinking we’re too strong to be tempted…We should expect to be tested regularly by the enemy. Woe to us if we imagine we are immune to such temptations…Praise God continually with spiritual hymns and always remain in meditation and in this way you will be able to bear the burden of the temptations that come upon you.” (Life Application Study Bible, Deuteronomy 12:2-3; Dynamis 10/30/2020, St. Hyperechius of the Desert)

“From the Lord’s struggles in the wilderness, we learn that the venom of the enemy is aimed directly at those who delight in God. God allows us to become the devil’s special target, we might say, in the same way in which He gave His Son to the world (Jn 3:16). The members of the Church of Christ are hated by the evil one because we are “the apple of [God’s] eye” (Zec 2:12). When temptations come, let us remember that they provide evidence of God’s love.” (Dynamis 9/23/2020)

“The word usually rendered “temptation” in the Lord’s is peirasmos, often rendered as “trial”. It refers to a crisis which tests us, pushes us to the limit, a crisis in which we may fail the test and fall away from God. That was how the word is used in Luke 22:31, to describe Satan sifting Peter as thoroughly as wheat is sifted, by overwhelming him by a temptation to despair after his denial of Christ. That is how the word is used Revelation 3:10, to describe an hour of persecution and seduction that was coming upon the whole world…In the Lord’s Prayer, therefore, it seems that peirasmos refers to an hour of trial that comes upon us in the form of persecution. In this petition, we pray that we may withstand the assault.” (Fr. Lawrence Farley)

“God knows best what we can bear and what we cannot, and what He will or will not permit. He knows if we have the strength to fight a certain temptation. He permits a temptation to beset us in order that we might confront it with peace. Later, when the same kind of temptation comes upon us, it will go away because we will not participate in it or allow our thoughts to wallow in it.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Yes, we, each of us, are sinners and strugglers, each with our own weaknesses. But by the same token, whatever the spiritual life is supposed to be, it can’t be meant only for those who are so perfect that they are beyond all temptation. Somehow, it is in the midst of our confusions, fears, distractions, temptations and habitual mistakes that we are meant to pursue that “one thing needful”: a living relationship with the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, and to love Him who is “the express image of the Father,” and who is also the one “upon whom the Spirit of the Father descends and remains…No other person can fill us with life as God does, and it is for Life that we were created.” (Timothy Patitsas)

“…the Lord will help you with His grace. Temptations are never stronger than grace.” (Elder Joseph the Hesychast)

“The immediate origin of a temptation is our own sinful passions, which the devil energizes...being tempted is not a sin. We have not sinned until we give in to the temptation.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:14,15, Life Application Study Bible, Genesis 3:1-6)

“...because Christ was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted…Christ’s suffering included temptation. He experienced the lure of sin, but He never surrendered Himself to it. He knows what it is like to be tempted, so He knows how to assist those who are being tempted.” (Foundation Study Bible, Luke 4:1-13, Hebrews 2:18)

“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.” (C. S. Lewis)

“We need to be clear: God does not tempt us (James 1:13–15). God tests us.” (Marlena Graves)

"Our daily struggles with temptation even in small things are the battle line. Each time we repent there is rejoicing in Heaven and we must fight with courage and hope." (Father Spyridon Baily)

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