We recently took our kids on a day trip to a nearby beach. It was a nice, mild day and the beaches were closed to swimming, so we (quite optimistically) opted to not take the kid’s swimming clothes or beach towels. There was no need since they wouldn’t be getting in the water. We would just play in the sand, dip our toes in the water and enjoy a nice, dry day at the beach.
A few minutes after our arrival we realized that we had terribly misjudged how difficult it is for small children to be that close to the water and not get wet. In the blink of an eye they were all soaked from head to toe, though they insisted they never actually got in the water. A nice walk along the beach in the sun remedied the problem, but I have to admit that for a few moments I was frustrated with my kids. How could they disobey and get wet?!
As we walked and talked, I thought of how my kids’ actions reflect the casual approach most believers take toward sin. We know the expectations and dangers, but love to get close enough to sin that we can get splashed. In this day and age of comfortable Christianity, we take sin way too lightly. We are casual and apathetic in the face of temptation and do not take the avoidance of sin seriously.
As believers, we must be intentional about our approach to sin. We must commit to practicing obedience and pursuing holiness. It is vital that we acknowledge that despite the victory we have in Christ, our flesh is still very susceptible to sin and temptation. We must never forget that sin’s allure is strong. Never overestimate the momentary appeal of sin nor your own will power. Never assume that you are immune to the commission of certain sins. Never think that you can regularly associate yourself with a temptation without falling. The power of sin is strong.
Those of us who are parents should also keep this in mind as we lead and guide our children. Think back to the story of my children on the beach. If it was really a problem for them to get wet, than what in the world was I doing putting them right on the edge of the water? I put them in a position to face great temptation to do the very thing I didn’t want them to do. I know that not all temptation can be avoided, but as a parent I should be doing everything in my power to put my children in a position to do right. When it comes to sin, I should stack the odds in their favor instead of placing them on the precipice of failure and giving them a little nudge. As a parent, I want to make sure that I am teaching my children the danger of sin all the while accounting for it myself and positioning them to have victory rather than failure. To do otherwise is simply irresponsible.
This serious attitude toward sin should also manifest itself in my conversations, my entertainment, my choices, my friendships – essentially every aspect of my life. As a believer, there is no need to go through life afraid of temptation or paranoid about sin, but I should have a healthy appreciation for just how strong sin’s pull can be and have a predetermined plan of action for pursuing holiness. I urge you, don’t splash in the shallow waters of sin and fool yourself into thinking you’re still dry!