Temptations.....Beating them?

Temptations. How do you beat them?

Firstly, you have the thoughts. How can one eradicate those thoughts when they burn in your mind.

How does one stop your body ‘wanting’ those tempting things, like lustful thoughts?

Acting on them can be soul destroying afterward.

How does one beat temptations?

Try not to think of an elephant.;

(What do you think of, when someone says that?)

I have had the most success with battling temptation by recognizing, when tempted, that I am tempted. “Oh, I had this thought.” Then I label it as a temptation,* that I do not have to give into*, then I go about my day.

It takes time, but the thoughts do diminish this way. It can also be helpful to have a specific plan of action for when the thoughts come as a distraction. Say a prayer, or do something else productive. Avoid the situations where the thoughts are most likely to come (called “triggers,” especially in the early stages of fighting the thoughts.)

Over time, your brain will relearn how to respond. If you have a long habit of giving into the temptations, it may take longer because your brain is wired to give in. It takes practice, but you can get there. The brain is very much a creature of habit. Habit conserves vital resources of thinking and planning. But God gave you a will, and He gave you reason. You can direct your own thinking if you choose to, and you will get better at it the more you try. When you fall, resolve to try again. It is not hopeless.

God bless you.

I find it extremely difficult. Almost impossible. I get tempted and then comes the big sin and then i feel awful. Confession and start again.

One thing to consider is that you may be using confession as a crutch. We aren’t to commit the sin of presumption but it can be easy to fall into that trap. “Well, we’ll just try again tomorrow.” The thing is, when tomorrow comes, we just tell ourselves again, “we’ll just try again tomorrow.” See what happens?

It is definitely not easy. But as you practice, it will become easier. Ask God to help you. Find something else to do. Find new habits - exercise, volunteer, spend more time in public where sinful behavior is not easy to engage in.

I have a “monkey on my back” that I can’t seem to shake. My confessor told me the only way to do it is (as Jesus said) through prayer and fasting. I really need to do this. :frowning:

You can’t force yourself to stop thinking something or turning your head after it or having some sort of longing for it. You’re responsible for what you control, i.e. your reaction to it. That’s where the temptation is beaten, when you don’t act on it, when you no longer even feel it. And it helps to turn to God rather than trying to beat them on your own. React with prayer. Don’t lose your mind, don’t panic, overreact etc. Turn maturely and trustfully to God.

I’ve said it before but will say it again: frequenting the sacraments aside, the best remedy for sin, particularly sexual sin, is to get busy doing good stuff and staying too busy to sin.

The idea isn’t to create a void (“I must not think about X, I must not think about X,”), but to fill your mind with more important, productive stuff.

Every single day:

–Go to work (or school, if you’re a student, plus studying). On your days off, have another job to do–build stuff for Habitat for Humanity, volunteer at the soup kitchen, take a plumbing class, whatever. If you have debt, get a second job to pay it off.

–Work out. Hard. Walk, swim, box, play a sport, whatever you enjoy, or at least tolerate. Lift weights.

–Practice self-control in other areas by eating well and drinking moderately, which trains your mind like a workout trains your body. Similarly, keep a reasonably clean living area.

–Find someone who needs your help, and give it to them. Call grandma, buy that homeless guy a meal, even just pet the adoptable cats at Petco for a couple of minutes. :stuck_out_tongue:

–Talk to other people, whether roommates, family, or friends.

–Pray and read scripture.

Basically, your (in the generic, not specific, sense–I include myself in this!) enemies are loneliness, boredom, and lack of discipline/structure, so don’t let them take root. If you do all of the above, I think you’ll just plain find yourself too busy and focused most of the time to sin, plus, when the temptation crops up, it’ll be easier to say “no.”

Yes, on fasting.

“… Never let him notice the medical aspect. Keep him wondering what pride or lack of faith has delivered him into your hands when a simple inquiry into what he has been eating or drinking for the last twenty-four hours would show him whence your ammunition comes and thus enable him by a very little abstinence to imperil your lines of communication…”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter 17

1Corinthians10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

30+ years of temptations is hard to shake.


Try praying the Jesus Prayer.

From the Catechism

Prayer to Jesus
2665 The prayer of the Church, nourished by the Word of God and the celebration of the liturgy, teaches us to pray to the Lord Jesus. Even though her prayer is addressed above all to the Father, it includes in all the liturgical traditions forms of prayer addressed to Christ. Certain psalms, given their use in the Prayer of the Church, and the New Testament place on our lips and engrave in our hearts prayer to Christ in the form of invocations: Son of God, Word of God, Lord, Savior, Lamb of God, King, Beloved Son, Son of the Virgin, Good Shepherd, our Life, our Light, our Hope, our Resurrection, Friend of mankind. ...
2666 But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: “Jesus,” "YHWH saves."16 The name “Jesus” contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him.17
2667 This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.” It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the publican and the blind men begging for light.18 By it the heart is opened to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy.
2668 The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases,19 but holds fast to the word and "brings forth fruit with patience."20 This prayer is possible “at all times” because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus.

I second on receiving the sacraments as frequent as possible, daily rosary and perseverance in prayer. You will fall again that’s guaranteed but don’t stay down, ask for Gods grace to get up go to confession and start over. Sometimes I go to confession twice or 3 times a week! I currently purchased a St. Benedict cross as a reminder and so far I’m into my fourth week of fighting!

Went to confession earlier. Already i am starting to sin again!

And you pick yourself up and keep of fighting. Also, try seeking counsel with a priest.

Examine your conscience daily.


Take a sheet of paper and tally the sins using the above guide. Feel each emotion of the tally. Manifest anything associated with that emotion specifically spoken words against you. IF there’s still emotions recall each event associated with that.

Confession looms once more for me i am afraid. Gave in to temptations again today. Also, knowing that confession was going to be available. Pathetic. Thats what i am. I am letting the devil control me. I cannot seem to beat these issues.

Mention this in the confessional. Ask the priest for guidance when you go to avoid this trap in your thinking.

If you think you can’t beat it, then you’re right, you won’t. But you don’t have to.

Have you tried any of the other things suggested in this thread?

Thank you kindly. I have re read yours and other.

Jesus is Lord

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