Day 32: temptation pattern (STop)

My 10-year-old daughter loves the mall. Specifically, she loves Claire’s. If you’re not familiar, it’s a store with all kinds of trinket jewelry for young girls & tweens. You can get your ears pierced, buy all kinds of cheap (in quality, not price J) little jewelry pieces, and cuddle with some squish mellows – google those, they’re kinda cute.

When we visit the mall she always wants to go and see what they have. I say no. She says please. I then try to be extra clear to her that I will not be buying her anything. She then replies that she just wants to look.

I give in and we go.

We then get there and of course she’s super adorable looking at everything they have to

offer. And from time to time . . .

okay, more often than not, especially if my wife isn’t also with me . . .

I give in and buy her a little something.


She now has learned that if she tells me up front she wants me to buy her something and spent $10 at the store I’ll say no. But if she starts by asking me if we can go look, I’ll likely say yes.


Satan works the same way! 😊


Hear me out . . .

The pattern of temptation found in Genesis 3 hasn’t changed in all this time. Satan doesn’t tempt Eve by sharing the full ramifications of her sin, instead, he entices her one step at a time, focusing on what will feel good about giving in.

Battling the temptation of pornography & sexualized images is similar in that our minds don’t immediately go to the full ramifications of our sin but rather one step past where we are right thing, a progressive track focused on what will feel good about giving in.

We all ‘know a guy’ right?


How about this scenario?

Take a second glance at that scene in the show. That scene which doesn’t contain any nudity but sexualizes that actress a bit – either in reality or in our heads.

Look that actress up to see who she is.

Click on photos and find something where she’s more sexualized.

Click. View. Click. View. Click. View.


And before you know it, you’re somewhere viewing something & doing something you never initially intended.

And while all of it is sinful, the further you go the more your wiring your brain like a Pavlovian dog.[1]


Here’s what I want to be clear on though, that scenario may feel new to us each time we’re triggered. But the formula is not.

As I heard one pastor say, it’s not “what happened” in Genesis 3, it’s what “always happens”.

Know the pattern. Know you’re not alone. Know God provides a way out.

Prepare & stand ready to resist.

You have the playbook!


Thoughts to Pray/Journal:

  1. How have you seen this pattern play out in your life?
  2. What specifically puts you in that pattern? What are you susceptible to?
  3. What can you start doing differently to diffuse the pattern now that you know what it is?



Genesis 3:1-7

[1] Pavlovian dog is a reference to psychologist Ivan Pavlov and behavioral conditioning. He trained dogs to salivate when a bell is rung by consistently giving the dogs food after ringing the bell.