How to Overcome Temptation
This week I learned a new word. “Captology.” It is the art of capturing people’s attention and making it hard for them to escape. Stanford professor, Nir Eyal, describes how a successful app can create a “persistent routine” or behavioral loop. In his study he learned how an app can both create a need and then provide a temporary solution for that need. This technique of captology explains why Facebook is so effective. Eyal writes:
“Feelings of boredom, loneliness, frustration, confusion, and indecisiveness often instigate a slight pain or irritation and prompt an almost instantaneous and often mindless action to quell the negative sensation. Gradually, these bonds cement into a habit as users turn to your product when experiencing certain internal triggers.”
While the internet offers us great resources, it can also become a tool to capture our hearts and teach us how to think. Just look at the title of Dr. B. J. Fogg’s book, ‘Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do.’
Unchecked internet control of how we feel and what we think can prove to be a very dangerous way of life. We need to constantly be on guard on what is influencing our thoughts, feelings and behavior. And what may seem innocent and harmless, can turn into an unhealthy obsession and habit. If you have young children, they start early in this internet pursuit.
As followers of Christ, we must remain diligent to know what we believe and how we are to live. The enemy, Satan, will use even God’s Word to move us away from our trust in Christ. Satan is the master manipulator and uses his own form of captology to create needs and provide his own harmful solution to that problem.
One example is his temptation of Jesus. He points to needs in Jesus’ life and then offers his own solutions. It is a form of manipulation he uses on us as well. For example, in Matthew 4 Jesus is hungry after fasting for forty days. Satan suggests that Jesus create some bread since it is unhealthy to not eat after forty days. There is no biblical prohibition for eating bread. And if you are God, you can just create your own. What is the harm? Jesus however recognized this trap. Christians need to know that Satan can offer us ideas and behaviors that are innocent, but can lead us into sin and painful consequences. His temptations are subtle and deceptive but can cause much harm.
Join us this Sunday morning as I will show you how Satan attempts to control our thoughts and feelings so we move away from a faithful obedience to our Lord. Come and learn how to identify his temptations and overcome them as we continue in our series through The Good News of Mark.
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