Friday, July 25, 2014

Sinning Like Hot Sauce

Read: James 1:12-16

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.                                                                         James 1:15 

     I am going to mark this down right here for the record: I do not like hot sauce. To be honest, I have never understood people who do. I met with a long-time friend of mine recently to eat at a Mexican restaurant. As he ate his hot food, his nose began to run, and he began to sweat. I asked him the question I have asked several others who seem to enjoy torturing themselves while they eat: “Why would you ruin perfectly good food by masking the taste of it with something so hot you cannot even enjoy it?” He gave me the answer I had heard before. He said that once you get into the “world” of hot sauces, they take on a taste of their own. My thought has always been, “Well, if you like the taste of hot sauce so much, why don’t you just go drink a bottle of hot sauce and leave your food alone so you can enjoy it?” Logic doesn’t seem to register with hot sauce lovers, probably because their brains are so fried. But my friend went a step further in his answer. He said, “It takes a little while to get used to the heat of a certain sauce, but once you get used to it, you have to get hotter and hotter sauce to really enjoy it.”
     His answer reminded me so much of the way that sin works in our lives. When we first fall to a certain temptation, we are abhorred by what we have done, and we often vow never to do it again. But the temptation comes back, and we fall to it again and again. Pretty soon, we are no longer bothered by it. The next step in the progression is to fall a little deeper into sin in an effort to truly enjoy ourselves. Before long, we are wallowing head first in as many wicked things as we can, with seemingly no way out. Many sins follow that downward progression: pornography, theft, lying, and rebellion (just to name a few).
     The key to steering clear of this progression is to never take the first step. Those who eat hot sauce regularly probably experienced a burning tongue when they tasted a mild hot sauce for the first time, just like I did. As time wore on and they continued to eat it, however, they got more and more used to it until they just didn’t get the same thrill anymore. So they had to go “hotter.” I don’t have that problem because I never got past the first step of getting used to a mild hot sauce. And I don’t plan to! May I encourage you to keep it that way with sin. Don’t ever get used to the first step, and you will avoid a lot of heartache down the road.

Quote of the day: “The trouble with little sins is that they don’t stay little.”

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