Saturday, September 22, 2012

What the Cat in the Hat Teaches Us About Temptation - Part 3

In the post two days ago, we saw how bad feelings set us up for temptation, and if we are unprepared to reject the temptation, we are likely to fall for it. 

In yesterday's post, the "fish", a.k.a. our consciences, sounded the alarm, but the "cat" a.k.a. the Tempter gives us many reasons to ignore that warning.

Today, let's take a look at what happens next.

The Cat Wreaks Havoc

As we listen to the cat instead of the fish, we allow the cat to do more than talk.  Bit by bit, he makes a mess in our lives.  

Do you remember how it works in the story?  The cat began by balancing a few things on the tips of his fingers and on top of his hat.  Then he added more and more items to the balancing act, each time bragging, 

“But that is not all I can do.”   

It is the same with us.  Once we give in to temptation, we often find that just a little bit is not enough.  We want more.  A little more won’t hurt.  And then a little more, and a little more.  

Eventually, we reach the point where we cannot keep doing it all, and disaster catches up with us. 

“He came down with a bump from up there on the ball,
and Sally and I, we saw all the things fall.”

For the kids, the disaster came in the form of a messy house, things broken, bent and smashed.  For us, it can mean strained relationships, health problems, early signs of addiction, poor work performance, and so on.
“Now look what you did!” said the fish to the cat.
Just look at this house!  Look at this! Look at that!”

For us, whatever voices have been warning us that our particular “cat in the hat” would bring nothing but trouble might start screaming again.  

I told you this would happen!  
You made a mistake letting the cat get started in the first place.

In our minds, we might be saying, 

I have to stop this.   
This isn’t good.   
This is wrecking my life.

What are you to do when caught like that? There is a way out. But it's not easy.

Tomorrow we will look at the place of exercising our will if we hope to get rid of the "cat".

What About You?
Has there been a time when you ignored the warnings and found yourself in a big mess? Are you there right now?

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