26 February 2016
In Lent, Christians remember Jesus Christ’s struggle against temptation – and example of how we resist temptation.
Temptation is a normal part of being human – something to navigate and deal with.
I have found helpful advice from my friend Richard Wilding who writes
“Many years ago I was talking with a Christian friend at work. We were discussing drinking, (as some may know I enjoy my real ale!). I cannot remember the full context of our discussion. He told me about a principle that I have now used for many years. He said “Always think “HALT”, I asked “What do you mean by “HALT”!” (I was expecting him to give me a good lecture on saying ‘no’ to real ale, ‘no’ malt whisky and ‘no’ to all my other favourite tipples).
He said “The HALT principle is simple; it is dangerous to drink alcohol when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely and/or Tired. If you drink at these times you are likely to say something stupid or do something stupid”, in other words if you drink at these times you are more likely to fall into sin.
However, since learning of the HALT principle I realise that I regularly fall into sin without a drop of alcohol! And the times when I am at my most vulnerable are when I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Often the four elements of the HALT principle will work together creating a downward spiral.
For example, Hunger leads to Tiredness which can lead to Anger resulting in you being withdrawn and Lonely. When reflecting on the HALT principle I discovered that many of my Bible heroes were tempted or fell into sin when they were Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
The devil knows we are weak at these times. For example:
Esau sells his birth-right for a bowl of soup because of this Hunger (Genesis 25:29-35)
Saul throws a spear at David in his Anger (1 Samuel 18:6-11)
David, bored and Lonely falls for Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11: 1-4)
Samson could not keep his God-given secret and told everything to Delilah when he was “Tired to death” (Judges 16:15-16).
Over the next four days we will explore each element of “The HALT Principle” reflecting on how we can identify those dangerous times and avoid falling into sin.
Do you need to think HALT today?