Friday, September 21, 2012

What the Cat in the Hat Teaches Us About Temptation - Part 2

In yesterday's post, we saw how negative feelings can set us up to be vulnerable to temptation. We also saw how being unprepared to reject the temptation when it comes allows the "cat" to stick around, trying to talk us into giving in.

Today, let's look at the fish in the pot and see how he figures into all of this. Let's also see what tactics the "cat" uses in response to the involvement if the "fish".

The Fish Sounds the Alarm

The fish in the Dr. Seuss story repeatedly warns the kids that the cat should not be in the house when their mother is not.  

He should not be here. He should  not be about.
He should not be here when your mother is out.

When our own "cats" show up, we may hear a little voice inside, the voice of the Holy Spirit working through our conscience, warning us:
  • that we need to be careful
  • that the website we are surfing is not one we should be looking at
  • that the thoughts we are entertaining are not ones we would want to allow to remain.   
Sometimes, other people serve as the voice of the "fish". 
  • “How many drinks have you had?”  
  • “You spend so much time at work that the kids and I hardly ever see you.” 
  • “Having lunch with your secretary again, are you?  What’s up with that?”   
  • “How many soaps did you watch today?” 
We would do well to heed the voice of the “fish”, in whatever form that voice comes. Listening to and heeding that voice could very well save us from disaster.

Quieting the Objections

In the story, the cat immediately goes to work to soothe and quiet the objections of the fish.  “Have no fear!” the cat responds to every protest the fish makes.  

“My tricks are not bad.”   
“I will not let you fall.” 
“These things are good things.”

Doesn’t the Tempter do exactly the same thing to us? He makes every effort to silence our consciences and counteract the alarms being sounded by others when we are heading down a dangerous path.
  • “Just a one more won’t hurt.”   
  • “We’re just friends.”   
  • “I’ll only look at that for a couple minutes, and then I’ll shut down the computer.” 
  • “Come on.  After all, it IS the twenty-first century.” 
  • “Everybody’s doing it.”   
The fact is, our enemy wants to lead us to think that bad is good, wrong is right, and that the insidiously dangerous is completely innocent.  And since whatever “game” is being offered looks like fun, we might be all too willing to be convinced.

Today, we have seen how God's Holy Spirit sounds the alarm when we face temptation. We have also seen how the Tempter immediately tries to quiet any objections. 

Tomorrow, we will see what happens when the "cat" begins to wreak havoc in the life of one who hasn't kicked him out at the first.

What about you?
I gave a few examples of the lines the Tempter uses on us to quiet any objections. Do you have any to add to the list? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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