27 February 2016
Temptation is a normal part of being human – something to navigate and deal with. Continuing our series from Richard Wilding, the first area to explore from the HALT principle (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) is the Hungry element.
From an early age a child will scream and become bad-tempered when Hungry. As adults we have more control than this, but does this feeling ever really leave us? In my family there are times when arguments develop and can escalate out of control, and it is not uncommon for this to be before lunch time or tea time. Hungry can lead to Angry and then to sin.
When we are hungry we are more vulnerable. Even the devil recognises this, he knew Jesus was Hungry after 40 days of fasting, so he came and tempted him at this point, with his first temptation being to turn a stone to bread. (Luke 4:1-4). The Israelites during the Exodus moaned and wished they had died in Egypt and accused Moses of taking them into the desert to “starve them to death”. (Exodus 16:2-3).
It is important to recognise that in times of Hunger we are vulnerable to sin. However, this does not give us permission to become gluttons by over eating and keeping our stomach’s full. Proverbs 23:21 warns us this can lead us to poverty (both physically and spiritually). However, through fasting and prayer we can gain control over our Hunger and reduce our vulnerability to sin.
We may also need to recognise our diet habits can make us vulnerable to sin. Perhaps eating breakfast (rather than missing it), planning to eat some fruit mid-morning and having a healthy snack in the afternoon may make us all a little more saintly and even able to lose some weight by stopping us over-eating when it comes to dinner!