The first stage happens to every single one of us. We all are tempted every day in one way or another. Overeating, over spending, procrastination & what about "borrowing" office supplies - pens, paper clips, etc. (After all, no one will miss them.) I think you get the picture. You know in what way you are tempted. It's when we hesitate & begin to think about temptation that we can find ourselves in the participation stage before we really realize what we're actually doing.
Overspending puts a strain on the budget.
Overeating is bad for your health. And if you're on a diet, will mess up progress you have made.
With procrastination, you don't get done what needs to be done.
As for the office supplies, more expenses for the office makes for lower profit, which makes for lower or no raises, AND if it's really bad, you could lose your job.
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
I've heard this verse called "the excuse-buster". When temptations come our way, it's an opportunity to refer to this verse. It's a reminder that whenever we yield to temptation, it's because we wanted it - whatever it might be - more than we wanted the joy of obedience.
How often have you said, or thought, "I just couldn't help it! It was just too tempting!" ? God is in control of our lives, but He also gives us free choice. We need to ask Him to be in control of our lives AND allow Him to be just that. He is constantly showering us with countless blessings. How many of those do we miss because we are too preoccupied with temptation of one sort or another.
Thankfully, God's faithfulness is very evident when we take a temptation to Him. His desire is to help us overcome. No matter what your temptation might be, take it to God. Ask Him to give you His wisdom & strength to turn the participation stage of temptation to the joy of obedience.