Two Sides of Temptation

Roy Masters from 'How Your Mind Can Make You Well'

Although temptation has been our downfall, it is also important for our regeneration. It is as though you had learned to play the piano incorrectly, and someone took away the piano.

You could never hope to improve or to become an accomplished pianist until you obtained another piano and practiced the correct methods.

If you become numb, withdrawn from your surroundings, you cannot change for the better. You will be without experience to correct the fault.

However, before facing each new day, we must be sure to meditate in order to meet life correctly and touch others with the virtues of patience. Otherwise we perpetuate the evolution of trouble.

Protecting our children from temptation is not to be confused with living their lives for them, which does great harm.

With love, we shield them from wrong involvements with others until they come to see their way clearly and are strong enough to follow their conscience in spite of temptation.

Overconcern conveys to a child that he is an asset of positive or negative value to you. One kind of concern, criticism, offends his vanity and makes him resentful.

Excessive praise, on the other hand, fills him with false self-esteem. Resentful, or intoxicated with pride, he cannot discern clearly to deal with life.

And so we parents produce the problem we fear. The resentful, pressured, over-protected child will often seek trouble in which to grow.

"Although temptation has been our downfall, it is also important for our regeneration"

He is drawn to the very troubles his parents fear (in the name of love). In his rebellion, he deliberately creates trouble as a challenge for growth, and in so doing, actually seizes the bait (the hidden temptation implicit in the parent’s concern).

Alas! His resentment disables him from dealing with the problems he created, so the child adds fuel to the fears of the rescuing parents whom he hates.

You are often tempted to try to alter the mistakes you have produced in those you claim to love, but you must cease your efforts to rescue the image of yourself in the guise of helping and loving them.

You need to desist from your compulsive meddling and get off their backs, thus allowing pressure from within themselves to correct your loved ones.

We must learn to discipline without bribery or fear. We must impress our children with the strength of patience, perceive their faults without judgment (anger), and provide firm, good, calm direction.

Just by living rightly, we become a subtle pressure. Through love’s enforced requirements, we keep them separate from too much socializing until they become mature enough to choose wisely from the alternatives that are clear to their unruffled observation.

Thus they are not blinded by the excitements of the unfolding process of error and excuses invoked by a world that “loves” these children of yours into becoming one of its own—loves them as a lion loves his prey.