Tuesday night we headed outside for a family activity. Within minutes, we realized that the mosquito families had joined us. My husband was quick to declare it time for bug spray.
Not speaking in time to ask for my own chemical free bug spray, and not wanting to walk the 200 ft. inside to get it myself, I decided to tough it out. It wasn’t long before I was so uncomfortable that I actually reached for the chemical laden bug spray and sprayed it on my skin.
Although I was uneasy with my decision and trying to spray it a bit lighter than usual, I covered all exposed areas. As I wondered why I wouldn’t just walk back in and grab the spray I’m more comfortable with, I began an internal dialog: “Just once won’t hurt. I need this. It will be alright. If you go inside you might miss out on some fun. Quit stressing about this one decision.”
I compromised my standards about intentionally using chemicals on my skin and still ended up with 10 mosquito bites. Not only that, but the effects of the chemicals absorbing into my skin are not yet known. Who knows the damage that my “just this once” decision has left?
Sinful temptations are just like this. We are faced with a real issue. Maybe we’re too lazy to walk away or too proud to ask for help. Sometimes, because of those things, we justify the reasons why it’s ok just this once.
Most of the time, we end up with visible wounds right away. Sometimes, the damage done under the surface doesn’t show up until later. The fact of the matter is; however, no matter what we feel at the moment, the universal laws of cause and effect ensure that there is damage being done.
Sadly, we do these things intentionally. What can be done to stop us?
Well, we can grab the warnings from my bug spray episode and remember to ask for help, walk away, or to refuse to give in. We can remember that justifying harmful actions will only invite and accelerate afflictions in our life. Not compromising on our standards, we can choose to stand firm and say no.
I’m reminded of Heb. 2:18 and 4:16, which say, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted…Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
We have a Helper upon which we can call. We don’t have to intentionally inflict harm and destruction upon ourselves. I’m so grateful we’ve not been left stranded and helpless. Thank you, Jesus, and right now, Lord, please help us all.
Still itchy, but much more alert,