But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
This morning, I had caramel-glazed pear cake for breakfast with my coffee.
I actually premeditated this event. I looked forward to it when I went to bed last night. I may have even dreamed about it. However, it would seem that one cannot enjoy cake for breakfast at the age of 42 without paying some price. For hours, my stomach complained rather distressingly about my morning meal choice. Needless to say, it is not a price I will be willing to pay again.
Oh, I could justify myself because I have not tasted my favorite cake for many years thanks to a wheat sensitivity (this one was made with a gluten-free flour substitute). I could even go further and explain that I can no longer have coffee every day thanks to GERD, but those are really just threadbare excuses.
In all truth, I was simply tempted by an unhealthy choice and I underestimated the cost.
But it did get me thinking…
My morning seemed to be a sort of unpleasant, physical metaphor for sin. So many times, we are tempted by something in this world that seems incredibly appealing, even though we know it is not good for us.
In fact, I would conjecture that very few of us set out defiantly with brazen intent of becoming ensnared by sin. Instead, I believe most of us fall because what looked at first like an innocent indulgence quickly grows into a murderous monster, devouring us from the inside.
We are tempted and we underestimate the cost.
Fortunately, my little dietary error was easily correctable — and easily avoidable. Not all sin is so easy to rectify, however. But there are sins which not only drag the transgressor down, but leave a path of wreckage and desolation strewn behind, shattering trust and slaying relationships. There are sins that are not easily correctable.
In a nutshell, that is exactly why we need Jesus. It is why we have to abide in Him, staying diligently connected to Him through reading the Scriptures, memorizing and meditating on His words, and cultivating a vibrant prayer life that is listening as much as it is talking.
There is no place safer, no reward more wonderful than to be in His presence. Once we have experienced His incredible beauty… well, I cannot say it better than the refrain of old hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:”
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Even so, there are times we do stumble. We look away from the glory of the Lord and are distracted by the trinkets that surround us. Never fear, brothers and sisters, for even when we stumble or fall there is still hope. We can always run back to our Savior, for though we may be faithless, He is always faithful and will forgive us when we truly repent and turn back to Him.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
And as for me? Well, let’s just say tomorrow I’m back to clean eating. This old machine just runs better when it’s fueled properly!