Quotes, sayings and proverbs on Temptation from both Scriptural and Secular sources.
Interesting Quotes on Temptation
Every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice. ~Lyman Abbott
God is better served in resisting a temptation to evil, than in many formal prayers. ~William Penn
For every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. ~C.S. Lewis
Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour…If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? ~Charlotte Brontë
No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from. ~George Eliot
Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall. ~William Shakespeare
Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory. ~Frederick William Faber
To go into temptation to find how strong you are, is as wise as to go before a mirror, with closed eyes, to find how you look when asleep. ~Ivan Panin
The most formidable attribute of temptation is its increasing power, its accelerating ratio of velocity. Every act of repetition increases power, diminishes resistance. It is like the letting out of waters–where a drop can go, a river can go. Whoever yields to temptation, subjects himself to the law of falling bodies. ~Horace Mann
No man is matriculated to the art of life till he has been well tempted. ~George Eliot
For as men in battle are continually in the way of shot, so we, in this world, are ever within the reach of Temptation. ~William Penn
It is a most fearful fact to think of, that in every heart there is some secret spring that would be weak at the touch of temptation, and that is liable to be assailed. Fearful, and yet salutary to think of; for the thought may serve to keep our moral nature braced. It warns us that we can never stand at ease, or lie down in this field of life, without sentinels of watchfulness and campfires of prayer. ~E.H. Chapin
Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it. ~Thomas Jefferson
It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. ~Buddha
Conscience whispers, but interest screams aloud. ~J. Petit-Senn
Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell. ~Author Unknown
Temptation is the feeling we get when encountered by an opportunity to do what we innately know we shouldn’t. ~Steve Maraboli
Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open. ~Arnold Glasow.
Funny and Silly Temptation Quotes
By persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation. ~Oscar Wilde
Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to. ~Martin Luther
What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is they don’t want to discourage it completely. ~Franklin P. Jones
Those who flee temptation generally leave a forwarding address. ~Lane Olinghouse
Most people want to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch. ~Robert Orben
Do not worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older it will avoid you. ~Joey Adams
For years my wedding ring has done its job. It has led me not into temptation. It has reminded my husband numerous times at parties that it’s time to go home. It has been a source of relief to a dinner companion. It has been a status symbol in the maternity ward. ~Erma Bombeck
I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it. ~Mae West
We find many things, to which the prohibition of them constitutes the only temptation. ~William Hazlitt
About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you’re fighting temptation. ~Tom Wilson
Ever notice that the whisper of temptation can be heard farther than the loudest call to duty. ~Earl Wilson
I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation. ~Oscar Wilde
The trouble with resisting temptation is it may never come your way again. ~Korman’s Law
Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to. ~Oscar Wilde
Temptation hath a music for all ears. ~Nathaniel Parker Willis
Proverbs on Temptation
Constant occupation prevents temptation. ~German proverb
A man of character is resistant to temptation. ~Hungarian proverb
He who avoids the temptation avoids the sin. ~Spanish proverb
Good habits result from resisting temptation. ~Ancient proverb
All temptations are found in either hope or fear. ~English proverb
Quotations and Sayings about Self-Control
Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. ~Abraham Joshua Heschel
Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. ~Jim Rohn
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them, if they will not apply themselves to me. ~Michel de Montaigne
Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons. ~Anonymous
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’ ~Stephen Covey
Bible Quotes on Temptation
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. ~James 1:12 KJV
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. ~1 Corinthians 10:12-13 KJV
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. ~1 Timothy 6:9 KJV
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. ~Matthew 26:41 KJV
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. ~James 1:13-14 KJV
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ~Matthew 6:13 KJV
Catholic Saints Quotes on Temptation
Your first task is to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin, and transform yourself into something better. Your second task is to put up with the trials and temptations of this world that will be brought on by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end in the midst of these things. ~Saint Augustine of Hippo
Stop entertaining those vain fears. Remember it is not feeling which constitutes guilt but the consent to such feelings. Only the free will is capable of good or evil. But when the will sighs under the trial of the tempter and does not will what is presented to it, there is not only no fault but there is virtue. ~Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning, the middle, and the perfection. In the beginning they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle the contests of temptation; and in the end the fullness of perfection. ~Pope St. Gregory the Great
Trials are nothing else but the forge that purifies the soul of all its imperfections. ~Saint Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi
When tempted, invoke your Angel. he is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel. ~Saint John Bosco
Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer. When the Lord intends to bestow a particular virtue on us, He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice. Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation to grow in a particular virtue and a promise by God that you will be successful, if only you stand fast. ~Saint Philip Neri
Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife. ~Pope St. Leo the Great
When we find ouselves in some grave danger we must not lose courage but firmly trust in God, for where there is the greatest danger, there is also the greatest help from Him who wants to be called our ‘Help’ in times of peace and in times of tribulation. ~Saint Ambrose of Milan
Temptation, the subtle dance between our desires and our conscience, is a timeless aspect of human existence. In this exploration of temptation through quotes, sayings, and proverbs, we delve into the intricate web of human frailty and resilience.
The Journey from Innocence to Virtue – Lyman Abbott
“Every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice.” Lyman Abbott’s words paint a vivid picture of the journey each of us undertakes. It’s a path marked by choices, where innocence may give way to temptation, but the ultimate destination can still be one of virtue.
The Service of Resisting Temptation – William Penn
“God is better served in resisting a temptation to evil, than in many formal prayers.” William Penn’s insight underscores the spiritual value of resisting temptation. It speaks to the idea that true devotion lies not just in ritualistic prayers but also in the strength to resist the allure of wrongdoing.
The Irresistible Bait – Friedrich Nietzsche
“For every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing.” Nietzsche’s words remind us that temptation is a deeply personal experience. Each of us has our own weaknesses, the bait that can lead us astray.
The Struggle Against Temptation – C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis, renowned for his reflections on faith and morality, provides a profound insight into the nature of temptation: “A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is…” He emphasizes that the strength of temptation is truly known only to those who strive to resist it. Those who always give in remain unfamiliar with its full force.
The Value of Laws and Principles – Charlotte Brontë
“Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour.” Charlotte Brontë highlights that the worth of laws and principles is truly tested when temptation beckons. It’s during these challenging moments that their value becomes apparent.
The Temptation We Cling To – George Eliot
“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.” George Eliot’s words underscore that it’s the temptations we embrace and nurture that have the power to entangle us. Breaking free requires effort and a willingness to change.
The Thin Line Between Temptation and Yielding – William Shakespeare
In a few succinct words, Shakespeare captures the essence of temptation: “Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.” Temptation is the initial whisper, and yielding is the consequential step.
The Triumph of Resistance – Frederick William Faber
“Every moment of resistance to temptation is a victory.” Frederick William Faber’s quote reminds us that resisting temptation is not a futile endeavor. Each act of self-control is a triumph over the allure of wrongdoing.
Testing Strength in Temptation – Ivan Panin
“To go into temptation to find how strong you are, is as wise as to go before a mirror, with closed eyes, to find how you look when asleep.” Ivan Panin’s analogy highlights the paradox of temptation. Testing one’s strength in the face of temptation is a crucial step in understanding one’s own vulnerabilities.
The Escalating Power of Temptation – Horace Mann
“The most formidable attribute of temptation is its increasing power, its accelerating ratio of velocity. Every act of repetition increases power, diminishes resistance.” Horace Mann’s observation warns us about the insidious nature of temptation. Yielding to it not only strengthens its hold but also weakens our ability to resist.
Matriculation to the Art of Life – George Eliot
George Eliot reflects on the necessity of facing temptation: “No man is matriculated to the art of life till he has been well tempted.” Temptation, in a way, is a rite of passage, a test of character that one must navigate on the path to maturity.
The Ever-Present Temptation – William Penn
“For as men in battle are continually in the way of shot, so we, in this world, are ever within the reach of Temptation.” William Penn draws a parallel between the constant danger faced by soldiers and the perpetual presence of temptation in our lives. It serves as a reminder of the need for vigilance.
The Sentinel of Watchfulness – E.H. Chapin
“It is a most fearful fact to think of, that in every heart there is some secret spring that would be weak at the touch of temptation, and that is liable to be assailed.” E.H. Chapin’s words are a stark reminder of our inherent vulnerability to temptation. To protect our moral compass, we must maintain a sentinel of watchfulness.
The Hook Beneath Pleasure – Thomas Jefferson
“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.” Thomas Jefferson’s cautionary wisdom suggests that behind every tempting pleasure may lurk an unforeseen consequence.
The Power of the Mind – Buddha
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” Buddha’s words emphasize the role of the mind in temptation. It’s not external forces but our own thoughts that can lead us astray.
Conscience vs. Interest – J. Petit-Senn
“Conscience whispers, but interest screams aloud.” J. Petit-Senn’s witty observation underscores the internal conflict between our moral compass and our self-interest when faced with temptation.
The Lean on the Doorbell – Author Unknown
“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.” This modern saying humorously juxtaposes opportunity and temptation. It reminds us that temptation can be persistent, always waiting for an opportunity to present itself.
Defining Temptation – Steve Maraboli
“Temptation is the feeling we get when encountered by an opportunity to do what we innately know we shouldn’t.” Steve Maraboli’s definition of temptation highlights the clash between our innate moral compass and the allure of the forbidden.
The Perils of Leaving Doors Open – Arnold Glasow
“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open.” Arnold Glasow’s words serve as a cautionary tale. Leaving vulnerabilities unaddressed can invite temptation into our lives.
Proverbs on Temptation
Constant Occupation as a Shield – German Proverb
“Constant occupation prevents temptation.” This German proverb underscores the importance of keeping oneself busy as a means to ward off temptation.
The Resilience of Character – Hungarian Proverb
“A man of character is resistant to temptation.” The Hungarian proverb highlights that a strong character can provide resistance against the seductive pull of temptation.
Avoiding Temptation to Avoid Sin – Spanish Proverb
“He who avoids the temptation avoids the sin.” The Spanish proverb emphasizes the preventative aspect of avoiding temptation altogether.
Good Habits as a Defense – Ancient Proverb
“Good habits result from resisting temptation.” This ancient proverb recognizes that resisting temptation can lead to the formation of positive habits.
Hope and Fear: The Grounds of Temptation – English Proverb
“All temptations are found in either hope or fear.” The English proverb acknowledges that our hopes and fears often form the breeding ground for temptation.
Sayings about Self-Control
As we delve into the complex world of temptation, it’s crucial to remember the role of self-control in resisting its pull. Here are some sayings that highlight the importance of discipline and self-mastery:
The Root of Discipline – Abraham Joshua Heschel
“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” Abraham Joshua Heschel underscores that self-respect and discipline go hand in hand.
Choosing the Pain of Discipline – Jim Rohn
“Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” Jim Rohn’s saying compels us to make a conscious choice between the discipline required to resist temptation and the regret that follows yielding to it.
Self-Governance – Michel de Montaigne
“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them if they will not apply themselves to me.” Michel de Montaigne reflects on the importance of self-governance when external events are beyond our control.
The Weight of Regret – Anonymous
“Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.” This anonymous saying vividly illustrates that the weight of regret far exceeds the effort required for self-discipline.
The Power of a Bigger ‘Yes’ – Stephen Covey
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.” Stephen Covey emphasizes that a clear sense of purpose and priority can empower us to resist temptation.
Temptation, in all its forms, continues to be a fundamental aspect of human existence. Whether derived from ancient proverbs or modern sayings, the wisdom encapsulated in these quotes serves as a timeless guide for navigating the treacherous terrain of desire and self-control. Ultimately, they remind us that the choices we make in the face of temptation shape our character and determine the course of our lives.