Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:31
"Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly"
This is one of the middle verses of Solomon's advice to those who have an addiction to alcohol or really any other substance.
In that day and age alcohol was really the only thing that a person could use as a numbing agent to the pain of life and then become addicted to. People for thousands of years have been throwing away their lives by giving into the alluring properties of alcohol.
In this proverb Solomon says that you should not focus your gaze on what you are tempted by when it is at its most tempting. If you try and resist while you are looking at it tempt you, you will lose.
Solomon gives critical insight into temptation to addiction in this proverb. Alcohol can be alluring -- when it has strong color, when it sparkles, when it tastes so good. It is at these times that you must not look at it. Notice his admonition. Do not look at it.
The same would go for an adulteress when she is all dolled up and trying to allure you. The same is true for drugs when it is being offered to you in a glamorized setting. The same is true when pornography is showing you airbrushed photos of anonymous women who seemingly want you. The same is true for gambling when it promises easy jackpots and huge winnings. The same is true for seductive fattening foods and desserts which make your mouth water just looking at them. The same holds true for spending money you don't have on stuff you really don't need but the advertizing makes you want it so desperately. Whatever you are tempted by will win if you try and resist it at its most alluring. It is foolish to try and fight a battle against an enemy at their strongest and your weakest. You want to fight a battle at your strongest and their weakest. Those are the things that Solomon discusses next.
In order to beat back temptation you must not try and resist temptation when it is strongest. You need to get away from what tempts you at that point. You need to think through what tempts you when you are not under its power to tempt. You must think about what will happen if you give into this temptation. You need to think about what you could and should be doing instead. All this must happen before you are tempted. You cannot stay in the presence of what really tempts you when it is the most alluring and expect to win. You may resist it a few times but it will win.
Do not look at it.
The question I have for you is: What tempting thing are you allowing in your life that you keep believing you should be able to resist, but you keep giving in? Get rid of it. Get away from it. Stop trying to win against it and realize that it will get you if you get too near to its seductive power.