Not Everything That Looks Soft and Fuzzy Is
As my little four-year-old self pedaled the fire engine red car down the sidewalk of the neighborhood, I came across a bumble bee and stopped to look. A little warning flashed through my brain about these insects having the ability to sting.
However, I just knew if I was very careful, I could pet the bee and feel how soft and fuzzy he really was. That day provided a good lesson in listening to people older and wiser than myself. I hesitated, not sure if I should run to my mom, or tough it out. However, as I looked at my finger and saw a little stinger protruding, I knew I would have to fess up for my mistake.
Over fifty years later, that lesson still lives vividly in my memory. But how often are we quick to flirt with danger? We convince ourselves one time won’t hurt. No one will know. We’re not hurting anyone else. The list of lies continues, but the truth remains…we can’t go against God’s commands and come out unscathed.
When struggling with temptations, a great place to turn is the book of Proverbs. Just a few of many passages that contrasts uprightness and sin (wickedness) are below:
Proverbs 10:9, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
Proverbs 11:5, “The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.”
Proverbs 11:23, “The desire of the righteous ends only in good, the expectation of the wicked in wrath.”
Proverbs 12:6-7, “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.”
Based on these verses, flirting with sin results in unpleasant consequences. Romans 6:23 makes it abundantly clear. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The good news is that God has already provided a way for us to overcome temptations. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and provided the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (I Corinthians 10:13). God always makes a way for us to avoid the temptations, but we must cooperate with His plan. If that means avoiding places or people that increase the enticement, we do so. If we find ourselves unexpectedly in a place of temptation, we can choose to leave, or turn off the television or computer. God provides the out; we must choose to take it.
Just like I should have done back when I was four, we should listen to the warning bells going off and stop before playing with danger. Don’t allow the enemy to whisper lies in our minds. Scripture makes it clear we have a choice and the consequences are significant. Pray for God’s help in fighting temptations today and avoid getting stung.