How to Resist Temptation with HALT - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

How to Resist Temptation with HALT - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

We can learn how to resist temptation by understanding HALT - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired; it is in these moment that we are particularly likely to sin...

Tags: HALT, hungry, angry, lonely, tired, how to resist temptation, Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

Because of the great fall, all of mankind struggles with sin.

This characteristic that we all share is often referred to as our "original sin."

In short, it means we are all selfish to the extent that we all prefer to fulfill our own needs above those of others.

The Christian walk itself is a journey precisely because we often battle our inherent selfishness.

In contrast, Christian living is defined by service to others - putting others' needs before our own.

We can learn how to resist temptation by understanding HALT - Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.

You see, it is in these four conditions that we are particularly vulnerable to the calling of sin. In sharing them here, I hope you find a deeper level of awareness that will empower you to avoid regretful attitudes and behaviors in these moments.

The HALT acronym is perfect because often what we need to do to avoid sin is simply pause to consider our actions before we regret them.

"H" Is For Hungry

Are you ever irritable when you are hungry?

Do you ever find yourself short with anyone who is asking for something else while you are on your way to grab lunch?

Do you ever feel growing frustration with the waitress when your meal takes an extra long time to be served?

Yes, our hunger can lead us to the roots of our survivalist selfishness, often to the harm of others around us. We quickly forget about the preciousness of others. In doing so, our Christian walk can easily get derailed.

Now let me ask you this, how often are you REALLY at risk of starvation?

Right... not very likely. Thus, wisdom in these moments would suggest it more important to consider our eternal salvation over our temporary desire for pleasure from food.

"A" Is For Angry

This one is quite obvious. How many times have you hurt someone, even yourself, when you were angry?

Yes, it is easy to fall into sin when we are angry. In fact often our egos churn up anger simply as a powerful front to some other more vulnerable emotion such as our own feelings of inadequacy or lack of intimacy with others.

Taking a moment to pause when we are angry to prevent sin from gripping our hearts can keep us from walking a sinful path.

"L" Is For Lonely

There is no doubt that we are programmed with a need for intimacy... to be close to others. Of course, we understand that God made us this way to find intimacy in Him and Him alone.

But that can be difficult to feel in our relationship with God. Furthermore, it can be quite difficult to produce in our relationships with others. Why? Because we have little REAL control over others. When we try to force it, we can end up with even greater damage than we started with.

Unfortunately, the history books and likely peoples' lives close to you are littered with the destructive evidence of individuals seeking to fill their loneliness with other people or other things.

Filling holes of loneliness in our souls can lead to destructive sins that include adultery, alcoholism, addiction, and more. Other people or things that temporarily fill these holes or make us forget them become idols that dethrone God as our ultimate focus in life.

Scripture tells us that God is all around us, He is good, and He wants us to prosper. As such, He is constantly available in any moment of loneliness - we simply need to turn to Him.

"T" Is For Tired

Do you feel like doing anything but take care of yourself when you are tired?

How do you treat others when you are tired? How about when they ask you to do something for them that is unexpected?

Do we need energy to serve?


Our fatigue is definitely an instigator for our sin. That sin comes from omission often, meaning, we simply choose NOT to do things for others when we are tired.

Other sins of commission are driven by our fatigue, too. Our lack of clear thinking has us do what feels right instead of remember all we've learned as Christians. We are quickly irritable and impatient with those around us.

It is helpful to be aware of our own fatigue and how it affects the way we treat others around us.


We have considered four moments in which we are particularly vulnerable to sin.

We have learned a helpful acronym - HALT - to trigger our senses to be more aware of these times when we are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.

In doing so, I hope you are more empowered to defeat sinful tendencies when you are most at risk.

Please share your success with applying this acronym to your own spiritual growth in the comments section below.

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