1 March 2016
Temptation is a normal part of being human – something to navigate and deal with. Continuing our series from Richard Wilding, in this final part of our five part series exploring the HALT principle (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired), we will look at how tiredness can make us vulnerable to sin.
Tiredness (like Hunger) can easily make us bad tempered. In my family, arguments can easily start and become irrational when people are tired and things are said that should not have been said. In fact, we have recognised this and we have a rule that can be invoked to stop the arguments late at night. “I invoke the 10 o’clock rule!” means it is time to stop arguing and make plans to continue the discussion the following day when we are less tired.
The Bible has plenty of examples of where tiredness can lead to vulnerability to sin. For example Saul’s men “exhausted” after a battle could not be bothered to prepare their dinner properly and sinned against the Lord by eating meat full of blood (1 Samuel 31-35), both tiredness and hunger working together and leading to sin.
Jesus found the disciples “exhausted from sorrow” and told them to “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation”. Peter then goes on to lie and disown Jesus in the early hours of morning (Luke 22: 45-46, 57-62). As mentioned in the first part of this series, Samson could not keep his God-given secret and told everything to Delilah when he was “tired to death” (Judges 16:15-16).
We also see from the bible some important lessons in dealing with tiredness. Moses, for example, found the Israelites were winning a battle as long as he kept his hands raised, when Moses hands grew tired his friends got a stone for him to sit on and they held his hands up for him (Exodus 17:10-13). This was God’s way of showing Moses he could not do everything on his own.
In the following Chapter (Exodus 18) we see how God sends Jethro to advise Moses to appoint some Judges to help manage the situation (Exodus 18:17-24). We need to recognise there are times when we need support others in their “tiredness” and times we need to ask for support ourselves. Do you need to offer support to someone today? Or do you need to “swallow your pride” and ask for support today? Or perhaps instead of watching TV late into the night you need to go to bed early?
In conclusion, over the past five days we have explored the HALT Principle and how being Hungry, Angry, Lonely and/or Tired can make us vulnerable to sin. The roots of this principle come from good advice about times when not to drink alcohol. But as we go through each day we must “STOP and think HALT”, we should ask “Are we making ourselves or others vulnerable to sin?” So as Jesus said “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Luke 22:46), only through prayer we can ask the “(Holy) Spirit to help us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26).