HERE is a story which will help you to deal with temptation.
A farmer always used to have trouble driving his pigs to the slaughterhouse. Everyone used to laugh at him while he had to chase the pigs all over the street. Then he hit upon an idea. The next time he brought his pigs to slaughter the people were all ready to laugh at him. But instead of having to chase his pigs all over the place, he came marching down the street in front of them. The pigs walked quietly at his heels and followed him right through the gates of the slaughterhouse. He was asked how he did it and he replied, "It was very easy. I brought along a bag of rotten apples and as I walked along I would drop an apple now and then. The pigs followed me without any trouble."
The Devil, when he tempts anyone, always drives a very hard bargain. He takes everything and gives nothing. He is very much like the man in the story who was able to lead the pigs to their destruction simply by giving them rotten apples. All the Devil has to offer you is the rotten apples of sin. Throwing you one every now and then he can lead you to your own destruction. If you remember the words of St. Paul, "God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength," you can look at things as they really are. When a temptation is presented to you, you have just to say, " I don't want any rotten apples."
"What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul; or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?" Sometimes people place too little
value on their souls. They will exchange them for some trifling pleasure, some small satisfaction that is gone as quickly as it comes. What exchange do they give for their souls? Rotten apples. They think they are being clever but they are just like the stupid pigs in the story.
We must remember that a temptation is not a sin. A temptation means that you are being tried and tested to see how strong you are. Because you are tempted does not mean that you are evil. I t means just the opposite. If you overcome a temptation you are doing a good thing. The difference between the sinner and the saint is that the saint overcomes temptation and the sinner is overcome by it. In time of temptation or trial throw yourself upon the goodness of God and ask Him for strength. See things as they really are and recognize rotten apples as rotten apples.
You need not be afraid because God is with you and
"God is faithful and w i l l not permit you to be tempted
beyond your strength."