Apparently the subject of temptation makes people uncomfortable. When we sent out 500 questionnaires to our readers asking about their greatest temptation, less than 6 percent responded. Usually 30 percent return our surveys.
For those who did respond, the familiar problems surfaced: sexual temptations headed the list (41 percent), followed by the temptation to quit (30 percent), ambition (22 percent), and money (7 percent).
The small response, however, raised a question—is temptation too painful to discuss? Most agree that morbid attention to weaknesses can be destructive. Someone once said that temptations are like tramps. Treat them kindly and they return, bringing others with them.
Yet the Bible teaches that we should confess our sins one to another. And the advice usually given on how to cope with temptation—to focus more clearly on Jesus—works. As one reader noted on his survey, "My most successful antidote to temptation's fever has been a regular discipline of prayer ...1