“Be vigilant against temptation, then, remembering that it is but a wish, insane and meaningless, to make yourself a thing that you are not. And think as well upon the thing that you would be instead. It is a thing of madness, pain and death; a thing of treachery and black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die, and end the dream of fear. This is temptation; nothing more than this. Can this be difficult to choose against? (T665)”
1 – Comforting Attitude
This commonsense attitude toward temptation does not scare us. It comforts. At this same time, though, it warns of the very real problems that yielding to temptation does bring. “Be vigilant against temptation” because, in part, it is a “thing of madness.”
2 – Be Flexible
When we feel tempted to follow a way that is not of the Holy Spirit or of Christ-consciousness (the latter from A Course of Love), then we are not being flexible enough. We need, as I have often said, to be ready and willing to “turn on a dime.” Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to us just at the precise moment, and if we are pressing ahead, we may not turn on a dime. But we need to do so. And the secular words, “Be flexible,” help me more often than not to make that shift in what I was planning to say or do.
3 – A Warning about Temptation
We know when we are being tempted, because the guidance of the Holy Spirit warns us (if we listen to Him). Then, our best response is to turn away as soon as we are able. Sometimes we yield momentarily, because our stubborn wills get in the way. We feel rebellious, and we don’t listen to guidance from the Holy Spirit.
4 – Choose “Against”
The madness, though, is answered in Jesus’s final question, “Can this be difficult to choose against?” The description just prior to this question is vivid indeed: “black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die.” Surely we can be flexible enough to follow the Holy Spirit when He warns us that we are treading into dangerous, ego-willed, behavior–temptation.
Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and thank You for the fact that I am warned, as You promise, when I would not be flexible enough, when I would be tempted to make a poor choice. May I always remain flexible enough, knowing that being in the flow of the day that my Guide gives me is the very best way to live.
Be with me today as the sun shines and the light is a harbinger of fresh and new days ahead. Thank You for the joy that I feel in the midst of any and all problems. Your felt presence is always there, when I am open to sensing You. Thank You.