Well…I had to go to the dentist last week to have a tooth pulled out! (ouch!!!)
Oh sure, I brushed regularly but the cavity still snuck in and infected my tooth. I tried to put up with it, and act like it was no big deal…. for one year! I tried to cover up and hide the pain with Orajel. I later found out that it spread to the next tooth as well. I needed someone (my dentist) who could do what I could not do for myself.
As I ponder the above list, I realize that the same process applies to my sinful nature as well.
I can pray regularly and worship and yet sin will still sneak in and infect me. “Sin is crouching at your door” Romans 3:23… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
I sometimes just put up with sin and act like it’s no big deal. 1 John 1:8…If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
James 1:14-15… but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
I try to cover up and hide the pain sin causes me and those that I love. Psalm 69:5… You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from you.
Sin in one area of my life tends to spread into all of the other areas of my life. Take David for example. First David committed adultery 2 Samuel 11:2-5… One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof, he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
That first sin of adultery leads to the second sin of murder.
Verse 11:14… In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
One sin will always impact the other areas of your life.
Back in 1974, Sue and I bought a new Mustang. The dealer filled the tank and off I went. I waited anxiously to get gas so I could figure out my mileage. After a week or so I went to the gas station and said “fill it up”. Remember when they did that? Well, the kid put the hose into the car and went back into the office…while I sat with a pen and paper to do the math. In went 3 gallons, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15! I grabbed the car’s manual to see how big the tank is! As the pump said 20, 21, 22 gallons. I jumped out of the car to discover that the attendant did not put the hose in correctly, it had fallen out and was pouring gas into the parking lot.
That story reminds me of the fact that…unchecked sin will spill over into every area of your life.
I need someone who can take care of my sin because I can not get rid of it on my own.Ephesians 2:8-9… For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Alligators in Your Pond
Several years ago, newspapers carried a story about an elderly lady who lived in the Big Cypress Swamp in South Florida. Her home was an old shack located by a small pond. Every day the lady went out to the pond to draw water. In the pond lived an alligator. Despite the danger, the lady allowed this alligator to live in the pond for years. It seemed tame. She didn’t bother the gator and the gator didn’t bother her. However, one day while she was drawing water from the pond, the gator swam under the water and then plunged up, grabbing the old woman’s hand with his mighty jaws. She tried pulling her hand out of his mouth, but the gator ripped it off. Bleeding profusely, the terrified and stunned old woman crawled back to her shack and called for help. Paramedics finally arrived and she received medical attention. The next day, the park ranger found the alligator in the pond and killed it. When they cut the alligator open, they found the old woman’s hand. The park ranger told reporters, “Alligators are most dangerous when they lose their fear of humans. By allowing an alligator to remain in your pond, you unknowingly give it the courage to attack.” The lady still lives in the swamp. But there are no longer any alligators in her pond. She got rid of them.
Scripture clearly teaches us that the wages of sin is death. Yet too many times, we think we can keep sin in our lives and not suffer the consequences. Eventually, it will take a bite out of us (like an alligator)…or fill our lives with painful problems.(like a cavity.)
Hebrews 12 warns us to get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. If we don’t, it will handicap us and do damage to the cause of Christ.
Hebrews 12:1-3… Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
So, now what? Well, ask yourself, What are the alligators that I allow to live in my pond? Ask God to help you identify them? Ask God to help you avoid and resist the temptation to allow those alligators to be in your life. Visit with God regularly for a check-up. Trust that he can (and has) taken care of the sin in your life!
Humor for the day:
1) A little boy was taken to the dentist. It was discovered that he had a cavity that would have to be filled. “Now, young man,” asked the dentist, “what kind of filling would you like for that tooth?” “Chocolate, please,” replied the youngster.
2) Patient: How much will it cost me to have this tooth pulled out? Dentist: $500! Patient: $500 for just a few minutes of work? That’s hardly cheap. Dentist: No worries, I’ll pull it out slowly if you prefer.
3) Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused to have an anesthetic injection when he was going for a filling? Apparently, he wanted to “transcend dental medication.” (hint: transcendental meditation)