Yesterday, I decided it was time for another haircut, and since Jason had a break in the middle of the day, it worked out great. After I trimmed the front and sides, he came in and began whacking at the back. (I really needed a haircut!) Unfortunately, one of those whacks took off a little more than hair. In a brief instant, the very end of the scissors caught the back of my ear, and I yelped. Who knew the back of the ear was so tender? Well, I know now. Jason felt bad and apologized several times. I knew he hadn't done it on purpose and told him not to worry about it. After all, what's a little blood! I did joke with him that my ears are already pierced so he didn't need to try to do them again. We had a good laugh, and the matter was forgotten. . . until I rolled over on that ear last night in bed. OUCH!
You know, when we flirt with sin, the result is the same as the mishap with my haircut--we find we've gotten a little too close for comfort. What started out as harmless quickly became much more than we ever dreamed. An exaggeration here. A moment of pride there. A flicker of envy. A wisp of bitterness. Unfortunately, our reaction to these "minor" things is a shrug of the shoulder or shake of the head. Why don't we heed the commands in Scripture?
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. - II Timothy 2:22
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. - I Corinthians 6:18
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. - I Corinthians 10:14
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, - Hebrews 12:1
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. - James 4:7
I think the Bible makes it pretty clear. Resist. Lay aside. Put away. RUN!!!!! Don't shrug at it like it's no big deal. Don't shake your head at it like you don't know where it came from. Take action. Get out of there before that "little" sin becomes much, much more. Don't get too close for comfort, or one night you'll roll over and find that the sting of that sin is still very present. God's grace is sufficient, and Jesus' blood covers all sin, but that doesn't mean we should go looking for sin. It will find us easily enough. Our job is to flee, to resist, to put it away. . . not to see how close we can get without falling all the way in.
I did that once on our frozen pool. I was just trying to see how thick the ice was, so I placed my toe on the frozen surface and pressed. Unfortunately, I was too close and completely lost my footing. I went headfirst into the pool. . . clothes, shoes, coat and all. As I struggled helplessly to pull myself from the icy water, my friends lay crumpled on the ground, making themselves sick with laughter. Some friends! But I will never forget that day, and I've learned my lesson.
May we learn the same about sin. Stay away, or you could find yourself in a situation far worse than a bleeding ear or a mild case of hypothermia. Brrrr!