The other day, my friend ran a red light and will end up paying about $1,000 between the ticket and driving school. Ouch!
It was a wake up call for me. I find myself getting sloppy and trying to edge through the later part of yellow lights. So far, so good, but my friend’s experience reminded me that not only can it be costly, it can also be dangerous. She was so grateful that no one came through the intersection and hit her (or I should say–she hit them).
Then I started thinking about how easy it is to “edge” into sin. I’m always a little doubtful when I hear the rationale of someone who has had an affair:”Well, I didn’t intend it to happen; it just happened.” Nothing “just happens.” There was a sowing by Satan upon fertile ground. James 1:14-15 tells us, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (NASB).
There is a progression. Unfortunately, sometimes we water the seeds of lust. I still remember from decades ago, a woman telling me how her affair was “watered.” “I asked the man to meet me for lunch so that we could talk about why I was attracted to him.” I’m not making that up. Guess where the lunch ended? In a hotel room.
But most of us aren’t watering the seeds quite that obviously. But watering–we do. And if we’re not careful, we will bring forth death.
Also from decades ago, I attended regular meetings of a ministry group, but it rarely worked for Larry to go. I began to notice that as soon as I arrived, one man would immediately make a point to come over and talk specifically with me. His wife’s working schedule prevented her from attending. I began to look forward to this man lighting up when I arrived, eager to greet me and talk with me. But then the warning bells began to sound. A part of me didn’t want to miss out on feeling special. But in time, when he called on the phone to just chat, I realized I was walking on dangerous ground. I told Larry what I was feeling and what I thought was going on. And I made a point of immediately talking with other people as soon as I arrived at the meeting; thus blocking any private conversation with the other man.
Of course, it may have only been my active imagination that interpreted something that wasn’t real. But I’m so glad I was careful. Whether or not the threat was real, I recognized a weak spot within my heart that needed to feel important and special. I determined to make sure that need was met only by the Lord and by Larry.
Are you trying to eek through some kind of “yellow light?” Are you playing with “enticement” or thinking something can’t “just happen.” I pray we all make a fresh commitment to seeking the Lord for everything we need, rather than substitutes that only lead to death.