It’s that time of year once again, when we assess how we are doing; when we make resolutions to do things we have yet to do, or to do things differently. We want to see positive change! Yet, we are all creatures of habit, and sometimes our habits are not good. That is why every January we make resolutions to eat healthier, to stop smoking/drinking/taking drugs, etc. only to fall off the wagon as soon as the first temptation crosses our paths.
Have you ever stopped to think about why you are tempted; not what tempts you, but why you are tempted? Many of us overindulge to mask a pain that we don’t want to face. Others put off doing something that they should for reasons of laziness or fear.
Here’s an example from my own life: I can get very snippy and impatient with my husband when the house is not in order.
- Why am I tempted to exert impatience? Because he is not moving fast enough to clean up his things.
- Why do I care so much that everything gets put in its proper place? Because I don’t want visitors to see any mess.
- Why do I care so much if visitors were to see a bit of a mess? Because then I wouldn’t look good.
Bingo! Answer: Pride/Vainglory!
Make that Positive Change
If we were to look at the temptations and keep asking ourselves “why” until we get to the root cause, we will get to the root of our sin and source of temptation. Once we pull up the root, we stand a better chance of making a change for the better in our lives that will be sustained.
Try this exercise with your own life. Once you find the root, ask the Lord to take it away, and fill you with the virtues needed to overcome temptation.
Whatever your New Year’s resolution might be this year, I pray the Lord graces you with virtue, and that you are successful at making a sustainable change for the better. Happy New Year!