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In an iconic image, Eve is tempted by the serpent in the Garden of Eden

A temptation is an act that looks appealing to an individual. It is usually used to describe acts with negative connotations and as such, tends to lead a person to regret such actions, for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health, economic, etc. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.

Derivation

Though at present used in many non-religious connotations, the term has implications deeply rooted in Judaism and the The Old Testament, starting with the story of Adam and Eve and the original sin. Many non-Western cultures had no precise equivalent until coming into contact with Europeans; for example, Jesuit missionaries in Brazil, translating the Lord's Prayer into Old Tupi, had to use the Portuguese word tentação, since Tupi had no word expressing "temptation" in that sense.

Contemporary use

  • "Temptation" is usually used in a loose sense to describe actions which indicate a lack of self control.

Temptation is a common recurring theme in world literature. Temptation has repercussions for even the strongest.

  • "Temptation" is something that allures, excites, and seduces someone. Infatuation can also lead to temptation as someone might do something for love in spite of one's better judgement.
  • In advertising, "temptation" is a theme common to many of the marketing and advertising techniques used to make products more attractive for purchase by consumers.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Temptation is that feeling of attraction to something which looks appealing to an individual.

Sourced

  • Our founders were insightful students of human nature. They feared the abuse of power because they understood that every human being has not only "better angels" in his nature, but also an innate vulnerability to temptation — especially the temptation to abuse power over others.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • On this earth all is temptation. Crosses tempt us by irritating our pride, and prosperity by flattering it. Our life is a continual combat, but one in which Jesus Christ fights for us. We must pass on unmoved, while temptations rage around us, as the traveler, overtaken by a storm, simply wraps his cloak more closely about him, and pushes on more vigorously toward his destined home.
  • The realization of God's presence is the one sovereign remedy against temptation.
  • In the hour of my distress,
    When temptations me oppress,
    And when I my sins confess,
    Sweet Spirit, comfort me.
  • Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them.
  • We often wonder that certain men and women are left by God to the commission of sins that shock us. We wonder how, under the temptation of a single hour, they fall from the very heights of virtue and of honor into sin and shame. The fact is that there are no such falls as these, or there are next to none. These men and women are those who have dallied with temptation — have exposed themselves to the influence of it, and have been weakened and corrupted by it.
  • Christian! thou knowest thou earriest gunpowder about thee. Desire them that carry fire to keep at a distance. It is a dangerous crisis, when a proud heart meets with flattering lips.
  • The devil tempts us not; 'tis we who tempt him,
    Beckoning his skill with opportunity.
  • Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they show what he is.
  • When tempted, the shortest and surest way is to act like a little child at the breast; when we show it a frightful monster, it shrinks back and buries its face in its mother's bosom, that it may no longer behold it.

External links

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Temptation
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Information about this edition
In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar

                      TEMPTATION

I done got 'uligion, honey, an' I 's happy ez a king;
Evahthing I see erbout me 's jes' lak sunshine in de spring;
An' it seems lak I do' want to do anothah blessid thing
But jes' run an' tell de neighbours, an' to shout an' pray an' sing.

I done shuk my fis' at Satan, an' I 's gin de worl' my back;
I do' want no hendrin' causes now a-both'rin' in my track;
Fu' I 's on my way to glory, an' I feels too sho' to miss.
Wy, dey ain't no use in sinnin' when 'uligion 's sweet ez dis.

Talk erbout a man backslidin' w'en he 's on de gospel way;
No, suh, I done beat de debbil, an' Temptation 's los' de day.
Gwine to keep my eyes right straight up, gwine to shet my eahs, an' see
Whut ole projick Mistah Satan 's gwine to try to wuk on me.

Listen, whut dat soun' I hyeah dah? 'tain't no one commence to sing;
It 's a fiddle; git erway dah! don' you hyeah dat blessid thing?
W'y, dat's sweet ez drippin' honey, 'cause, you knows, I draws de bow,
An' when music's sho' 'nough music, I 's de one dat's sho' to know.

W'y, I 's done de double shuffle, twell a body could n't res',
Jes' a-hyeahin' Sam de fiddlah play dat chune his level bes';
I could cut a mighty caper, I could gin a mighty fling
Jes' right now, I 's mo' dan suttain I could cut de pigeon wing.

Look hyeah, whut 's dis I 's been sayin'? whut on urf 's tuk holt o' me?
Dat ole music come nigh runnin' my 'uligion up a tree!
Cleah out wif dat dah ole fiddle, don' you try dat trick agin;
Did n't think I could be tempted, but you lak to made me sin!

PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

  1. Trial; a being put to the test. Thus God "tempted [Gen. 22: 1; R.V., 'did prove'] Abraham;" and afflictions are said to tempt, i.e., to try, men (James 1:2, 12; comp. Deut 8:2), putting their faith and patience to the test.
  2. Ordinarily, however, the word means solicitation to that which is evil, and hence Satan is called "the tempter" (Mt 4:3). Our Lord was in this way tempted in the wilderness. That temptation was not internal, but by a real, active, subtle being. It was not self-sought. It was submitted to as an act of obedience on his part. "Christ was led, driven. An unseen personal force bore him a certain violence is implied in the words" (Mt 4:1-11).

The scene of the temptation of our Lord is generally supposed to have been the mountain of Quarantania (q.v.), "a high and precipitous wall of rock, 1,200 or 1,500 feet above the plain west of Jordan, near Jericho."

Temptation is common to all (Dan 12:10; Zech 13:9; Ps 6610; Lk 22:31, 40; Heb 11:17; James 1:12; 1 Pet 1:7; 4:12). We read of the temptation of Joseph (Gen. 39), of David (2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21), of Hezekiah (2Chr 32:31), of Daniel (Dan. 6), etc. So long as we are in this world we are exposed to temptations, and need ever to be on our watch against them.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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