Overcoming Temptation

The only standpoint from which to overcome any claim of error is the spiritual. The error we call temptation consists in a seeming promise of gain in return for the violation of right. The spiritual fact is that man, the beloved creation of God, divine Love, is forever perfect. By reflection he already has all good. The Apostle James states that "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man;" therefore man, as God's reflection, cannot be tempted with evil.

Mary Baker Eddy writes (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 85), "Temptation, that mist of mortal mind which seems to be matter and the environment of mortals, suggests pleasure and pain in matter; and, so long as this temptation lasts, the warfare is not ended and the mortal is not regenerated." Temptation "suggests"! Its seeming power for evil is dependent upon the acceptance of evil suggestions, spurious reasons for breaking the Commandments. Temptation seems to argue, You can gain pleasure, profit, power, or protection through dishonesty, servility, personal domination, sinful indulgence, or other violation of loyalty to God or of love for man. To the responsive ear it seems mesmerically to whisper its false promises.

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