Dear Mr. Man…

March 2, 2009

My Name is Adam…

Filed under: Manhood — P. J. Easter @ 3:09 pm
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Q: Dear Mr. Man.

I am struggling with temptation and I don’t know what to do.

A: Sometimes there are things that run through your mind that, if heard aloud, would embarrass, shame, and dishonor you. As guilt-ridden as you may feel, you allow the decadent thoughts to run across your mind. You take silent pleasure in the moment.

You long to taste the bittersweet succulence that you once enjoyed and long to savor again. You know that you shouldn’t. You know that nothing good could come of it, but you can’t seem to shake the desire.

 

You are a different person now (or so you thought). You don’t want to want to give in to your baser instincts, but you feel your resolve crumbling. If your family only knew, they would be so disappointed in your weakness. That’s why you can’t tell a soul.

 

Your heart is racing. A light sweat breaks across your forehead. You mentally succumb to the fantastical indulgences that have been running across your mind all day long. The moment is finally here. You give in to temptation as waves of guilt and euphoria.  And then…

 

You look up from your reverie and remember that you are sitting at your desk, your co-worker calling for your attention. You clear your throat as you pull yourself together as your sinful thoughts slip away.

 

There is a line in a Prince song called Electric Chair that goes like this:

 

“If a man is considered guilty for what goes on in his mind, then give me the electric chair for all my future crimes.”

 

Let’s get back to reality. The scenario above could be thoughts of taking that first drink after being on the on the wagon for the last 15 years. It could be the temptation of having a cigarette after a long hiatus. It could be a diet that you do not have the will power to stick with. It could be another person that comes and interrupts the tranquility of your life. We are human and we commonly suffer from our frailties. This we understand. Life throws us curveballs that cause us to momentarily forget our better judgment.

 

It is difficult to control the thoughts that come and go though your mind. You can filter what you take in terms of your environment, but something always seems to slip through the cracks that sends your mind into overdrive. However, it is how a person responds to these temptations, in my mind, that shows the true measure of the man. The man of strength and character will recognize these curveballs and knock them out of the park. He will not succumb. He will not give in. No matter what. No matter how much his flesh is pulling him down. He will seek redemption.

 

It is also important to be surrounded with like-minded men of faith who love you enough to hold you accountable. If you are honest and you allow it, these men will call you out, pull you from the depths of hell, and be a source of strength where you may be lacking. They will help you man up when you may not be able to see it in yourself to do so.

 

Mr. Man

 

Question: How do you handle temptation in your life?

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2 Comments »

  1. We all have temptations, this is true. But I’m not sure if it’s completely realistic to never succumb to them. I recall a story about Ghandi. He at some point in his life took a vow of chastity even though he was married. A reporter asked his wife if he strictly adhered to his vow and she said “Hellz nah!”. Or something to that effect.

    One of the men in history I admire is Benjamin Franklin. Franklin is famous for acheiving much, but in his autobiography he explains how he didn’t live up to his own expectations on nearly a daily basis. He tried to “cure” himself by listing out thirteen virtues by which he should live. He admits that he was never able to adhere to all 13 on any day of his life.

    I think the important thing for us as men is to try to be the best we can everyday, and when we fail, learn and try to improve.

    Comment by Ben @ Big Piece of Chicken — March 3, 2009 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

    • @Ben. The word “never” is an absolute statement. You’re right. It would be impossible to never succumb. However, recognizing temptation for what is truly is will hopefully give most people reason to pause before indulging in something they may regret.

      Comment by Mr. Man — March 3, 2009 @ 2:51 pm | Reply


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