When I was in high school, I LOVED biology class. My teacher was super-cool, and he made learning fun. I really enjoyed the subject matter, and even the laboratory dissections were bearable. However, there was one part of biology class that I did NOT enjoy. It was a nasty little habit of my biology teacher, and I became acquainted with it on the first day of school. On that momentous day, I was reading my textbook when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Looking down, I spotted a HUGE snake slithering by my tennis shoe. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I was about to scream and run for cover when I caught my biology teacher’s eye. He was trying not to laugh.
At that time, being “cool” was very important to me. Deciding that it wouldn’t be “cool” to dash out of the room in hysterics, I choked down my revulsion and silently watched the snake slithering past my desk. I was happy to see it moving away from me, but I’ll have to admit that I felt jumpy the rest of the hour.
I hoped the “snake incident” was just a fluke, but my biology teacher seemed to enjoy letting his pet out of its cage. At first, it was totally unnerving. Each time the snake slithered by, I had to fight the urge to leave the room. But partway through the school year, I found myself becoming accustomed to my unusual classmate. And by the end of the year, I hardly noticed it when the snake curled up beneath my desk and took a nap.
The other day, I was thinking about my old biology teacher. He was an excellent instructor, but I’m sorry to say that most of what I learned from him has faded from my mind. Although I can’t remember all of the biological terms I memorized, I still remember the snake. In fact, I remember it vividly.
My biology teacher’s snake taught me many things, and one of the lessons I learned was extremely powerful. You see, that silly snake taught me that I can get used to anything—even things that at first seem totally revolting. In my way of thinking, sin is like my biology teacher’s snake. When I first saw the snake, it totally freaked me out. I didn’t want anything to do with it. I wanted to run from it. But as time passed, I became used to in my life. And eventually, I let it curl up beneath my chair and take a nap.
I’m not a perfect person. (Shocker!!) And when I fall for a temptation, it’s usually because the temptation has been presented over and over until I’ve gotten used to it. Letting down my guard is very dangerous. When I do, a sin that horrified me may end up becoming part of my daily life. It’s much harder to clean up the aftermath of sin than to avoid it in the first place!
I’m not the smartest person in the world, but I’ve learned a few things about sin and temptation. And the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I should NEVER lose my horror over sin. I should never let SIN get close to me. I should NEVER let sin inhabit ANY part of my mind, my thinking, or my daily life. I’ve learned that if I am not SUPER vigilant, sin can curl up in my life, and what’s worse—by the time it does, it may not seem like a big deal…and that’s AWFUL!!!
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b