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6 Steps To Avoid Temptation: Lessons From Shrove Tuesday


6 Steps To Avoid Temptation: Lessons From Shrove Tuesday
Temptations abound in our lives - learn 6 steps to avoid them from Shrove Tuesday

Temptations fill each of our lives. Sometimes these are temptations we wrestle with all of our life and at times these are short term temptations. Regardless, what we are often tempted to do is to try to avoid the thing that is tempting us. Often, it can be more effective to remove from our lives the things that lead to the temptation. This is a lesson we can learn from Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before the start of Lent. On this day, people celebrate and use up those things that they want out of their homes and lives for Lent. In places like New Orleans and Brazil, this takes the form of the parties of Mardi Gras. In other locations, like England, this takes the form of Pancake Day, when they use up all the ingredients that are used to make the foods they will avoid during Lent. By celebrating they are both getting rid of temptations and not feeling guilty about it. From these ways of observing Shrove Tuesday, we can come up with our method for other temptations:
• Set a clear focus for what you want to avoid
• Have an understanding of why you will be avoiding it
• Record what leads up to the thing you want to avoid
• Own your plan by getting rid of what will lead to your temptation
• Verify that you have got rid of all the ways would lead you to the temptation
• Enjoy having an easier time doing what is the right thing for you
You can take control over the things that tempt you. It is possible to take the lessons of Shrove Tuesday and celebrate the beginning of a new commitment to avoid something and in the process get rid of the things that lead you to the temptation. This same strategy works whether your temptation is around what you eat or about seeking out the wrong type of person to be involved in. You can try it out during this Lenten season or whenever you are ready to avoid your temptations. It is possible to use this to help you find wholeness and peace.

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The Rev. Christopher Smith

Marriage and Family Therapist

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, LMFT has served as a national leader around mental health issues both within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in professional counseling organizations.  He works directly with individuals, couples, families and supervisees as the Clinical Director of Seeking Shalom in New York City.  He also brings his insight to help a wider audience through writing, speaking and consultations.

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LAC, LMFT, LMHC, MDiv, MS, SAP
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Forgiveness, Spiritual
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