Here are a few practical tips on how to overcome temptation.
When we feel an overwhelming temptation to commit a particular sin, it can be difficult to resist. We may know it is bad, but our passions drive us to do it anyway.
St. Francis de Sales, in his book Introduction to the Devout Life, explains what you should do when you are initially tempted.
So soon as you feel yourself anywise tempted, do as our little children when they see a wolf or a bear in the mountains. Forthwith they run to the protection of their father or mother, or at least cry out for help.Do you fly in like manner to God, claiming His compassion and succor,—it is the remedy taught us by our Lord Himself: “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
However, if the temptation persists there is another remedy.
If, nevertheless, the temptation persists or increases, hasten in spirit to embrace the holy Cross, as though you beheld Jesus Christ Crucified actually Present.Make firm protests against consenting, and ask His Help thereto; and, so long as the temptation lasts, do you persist in making acts of non-consent. But while making these acts and these protests, do not fix your eyes on the temptation—look solely on Our Lord, for if you dwell on the temptation, especially when it is strong, your courage may be shaken.
Besides these basic tips, another effective way to combat temptation is to simply divert your attention to something else, engaging in a different activity.
Divert your mind with any right and healthy occupation, for if that takes possession and fills your thoughts, it will drive away temptation and evil imaginations.
Temptation can be difficult to resist, but with God’s help, all things are possible.
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