It is normal to have sinful thoughts sometimes, even when we know they’re neither a reality nor something we want or intend for us.
However, giving in to temptation – even once – can also make us prisoners of our own urges and cravings.
That said, what most of us don’t realize is that how we reject these temptations also matters a lot in the long run.
It’s quite simple to understand when we think from a rational perspective.
When we give in to our temptations, our brain strengthens this self-destructive pattern, and we keep saying ‘just one time wouldn’t hurt’ before it is too late for us.
Unfortunately, fighting the temptations without acknowledging the factors contributing to them also encourages our brain to test us repeatedly. And before long, we fall into the sinful trap.
Therefore, the only way we can truly destroy this harmful cycle and weaken the self-destructive pattern is to honestly acknowledge our thoughts, recognize the trigger factors, and re-label the temptation to what it really is – a sin!
How to do that? Despite what we feel when the temptations uninvitedly creep in, it’s quite easy to fight them once we know precisely what to do when a situation like this arises.
You can follow this simple 4-step plan to keep your sinful thoughts at bay, not letting a weak moment play a role in your life that you will definitely regret later:
Step #1- Acknowledge
First of all, you must acknowledge your urge. Trying to push your thoughts to the back of the mind only forces your brain to think more about them.
You shouldn’t engage in the fantasies your mind is conjuring for you. However, genuinely believing that you don’t want to make this terrible feeling a constant part of your life is a way of acceptance.
Step #2- Contemplate
Next, you should figure out where the sinful temptations are coming from. There usually is a source that triggers the unhealthy side of your imagination.
Moreover, believing that this feeling might come back later is a straightforward way of keeping yourself from such activities that trigger your sinful thoughts. Not to mention, thinking you wouldn’t have a sinful urge again is impractical and keeps you from acknowledging your thoughts, thus pushing you to give in to your temptations.
In the end, acknowledgment is necessary to find a healthy coping mechanism.
Step #3- Refocus
Once you have acknowledged and contemplated why this is happening to you, it is time to refocus your thoughts. Temptations always run their course once you’ve decided not to give in.
So, instead, spend the next few minutes in the remembrance of Allah (SWT) and ask Him to grant you the courage to walk the straight path.
Step #4- Recall
Lastly, you must recall your values and remember that while temptation promises a certain degree of freedom, it never actually delivers it to you in reality.
To make certain you remember this fact, you should think back to the times when you, unfortunately, gave in to your temptations. And then you’ll remember the feeling of guilt that made you shameful for your actions as resentment and dissatisfactions marred your mind.
Doing this will automatically make you feel happier with your decision about acknowledging your thoughts and taking appropriate actions to prevent any sin from happening.
We hope this 4-step guide helps you keep your sinful thoughts at bay in the future, leading you to live a pure and guilt-free life ahead!
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