YOBcast Episode 024: Temptation

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What triggers us and how do we reckon with temptation? What’s the difference between a trigger and a temptation, and how do we face temptation during moments of weakness and vulnerability?

Tom and Elliott welcome Bradley and Matt for a vulnerable conversation on triggers and temptation. We dive into the HALT acronym (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) as we discuss our most triggering situations, and we chat about temptation — including how we wage against temptation after pushing the line further and further.

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Enjoy the episode below! And don’t forget to comment: what situations trigger you? What parts of HALT make you especially prone to temptation? How do you successfully face temptation?

Links from the show:

Tom’s posts: yourotherbrothers.com/author/tom

Elliott’s posts: yourotherbrothers.com/author/elliott

Bradley’s posts: yourotherbrothers.com/author/bradley

Matt’s posts: yourotherbrothers.com/author/matt

  • TriggerWarning

    …but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own desire and enticed. Then, after desire has been conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14, 15.
    Triggers are what we blame when we fail, when actually it’s our own desire…it’s always our own desire in the end when we fail.

  • Tom Mix

    Thanks for the podcast on Temptations, men. HALT (Hungry, Anger, Lonely, Tired) played a part in my temptations. In the past I numbed myself to all of the stresses of life, including HALT. When I looked at p I was not thinking, just numbing. Not living in the present, just numbing. Not planning ahead, just numbing. Not eating, just numbing, Not expressing my anger and holding it in, just numbing. When I was lonely, just numbing. When I was tired and over worked, just numbing. When there were conflicts with others, I numbed. What ever the pain was, I made myself numb and got through it. Temporarily.

    Sometimes, I still want to numb, but refrain. Music on youtube has taken over the numbing. I feel the music. Moved to tears by the beautiful voices and sounds. God has given such talents to so many musicians. What a great time we live in when so many people from so many nations can hear this music. (same with the YOB podcasts) With p I was numbing. With music I feel it deep inside of me. Rambling, sorry.

    • I totally relate with the numbing. It takes a lot to look into the mirror, but in the long run it’s what we so desperately need to move on.

  • mike

    Did enjoy the podcast guys especially Elliot challenging Tom on some items :). Good back and forth discussion there!
    For me, HALT and (for me) it’s HALTS because I add ‘Stress’ to it which is big for me. All those items weaken my will and trigger a fall. Whereby, I’m mostly able to think differently, find the way of escape from sexual temptations and flee, HALTS weaken my will assuredly so that I choose wrongly :(. So to succeed I need to evermore be cognizant to the HALTS items as RED lights and to PREVENT as much as possible. The ‘S’ are stressful times that can’t be entirely avoided and so how to not want the wrong candy to soothe me in those moments?
    What helps me the most is discipline which Tom mentions. Having a schedule prevents boredom and keeps me safe. Emphasizing the time honored spiritual disciples in my schedule keeps my mind focused, tempers anger, and reduces envy which is ‘hunger’ in the acronym. I’ve tamed my lonely times by redeeming them as necessary solitude times for prayer and hanging with Jesus. I’m mostly successful but not completely.
    Times of stress (caused by whatever) is a trigger item of HALTS that is the hardest for me. It’s what’s most responsible for my ‘falls’ regarding porn or masturbation. The hardest for me. But I know Jesus knows and understands that specific weakness of mine and how the Tempter takes advantage of me during those times. Don’t know if others here find stress equally difficult?

    • Thanks for sharing some of your strategies, Mike. Stress feels redundant to me in the acronym as I’m already stressed when I’m hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Stress definitely affects me as a trigger; I can just always funnel it to one of those four (usually relational hunger or loneliness).

      Glad you enjoyed Elliott’s challenging of me. Join us next time where I challenge him on his affinity for The Goonies.

      • mike

        Hey, I think you’re right Tom. Stressful times do work their way into one or two of HALT such that no separate category is necessary. Yeah, loneliness and hunger are the emotional tugs big time in stressful moments. I think for me also, it’s some sort of brain thing like RDS (Reward deficiency syndrome) whereby mostly the good things in life somehow don’t bring me the pleasure others would feel. It’s sometimes a daily battle to feel pleasure in life’s routine. Don’t completely know…, but some of the studies of RDS are appealing in terms of an explanation. During those times of feeling blah I have to sit down and start in the Psalms. Reading one after another after another begging Jesus to remove those empty emotions from me. If I discipline myself that way success manifests :).
        ‘The Goonies’! Wow. Yes, why Elliott? Must be a throwback to formative years to relive them in some form?

  • Ashley Lavergne

    awesome job guys. I liked hearing you guys different perspectives. Even the back and forth and disagreements you guys have really gives one different ways to see things and things to think through

  • Bradley S

    Podcast episodes like this remind me why I am a patron. Loved the diverse perspectives all four of you brought to the table. This not only makes the conversation much more engaging and insightful, but I also found it fascinating that so many of us have different triggers that the enemy can use to weaken us so that he can tempt us and try us, based off of our past wounds and our weaknesses.

    While a bit blunt, Matthew’s call to man up definitely resonated with me and is something I have been slowly learning and applying over the past two years. Sometimes I feel like I get so caught up in my past wounds and what I perceive that I’m not, instead of embracing the unique child of God that I am. So what if I’m not the hunky popular guy? I’m a one of a kind dude that is fearfully and wonderfully made.

    • Appreciate your patronage, Bradley! I always enjoy the diversity in our conversations. We’re so similar in huge ways and yet so very different in lots of little ones. I feel you on Matthew’s call to man up. He’s a bully, that one. But a nice bully.

  • Ashley Lavergne

    oh and I also did A Beka homeschool lol

  • C. Marque

    I’m still unclear on the differences between triggers, and temptations. Could either Tom or Elliot clarify that one more time? 🙂 Just kidding, just kidding! I always start grinning rediculously while I’m listening to these podcasts! Lots of food for thought. I would say I am often the weakest when I’m tired. It has been helpful for me to try to identify these kind of things so that I can avoid them if at all possible. Maybe another similar topic that you guys could discuss sometime would be how porn and masturbation are addictive. You know the dopamine and stuff… 🙂

    • Well, you see, a trigger is a temptation and a temptation is a trigger but only if one precedes the other and ESPECIALLY if one comes after the other.