My granny Flossie taught me a lot in life. One of the funniest was to “hide all the evidence”. Ok, so she wasn’t always about 100% honesty! She was a jewel in my life. She battled with maintaining a healthy weight, and I KNOW that I inherited her sweet tooth. She would take us to DQ for treats, and the one requirement she had was that we not leave a trace to be found in her car; no napkins, no spoons, no lids, no straw wrappers, nothing. I cannot go to DQ without remembering my times there with her.
I tell you that story to preface what happened to me yesterday. It was my weekly “hike somewhere new” day, and this particular week, I went alone. None of my usual sidekicks joined me, which as it turns out was probably for the best as the day didn’t go as planned.
I started my day off, packing my lunch and bringing everything I would need for the hike. Healthy food, plenty of water, hiking poles, camera, backpack, change of shoes, hat, etc. I left my house early. The park I was heading to was an hour and a half away, and I wanted to get an early start to hike in the cool morning temps. Upon arrival, I immediately went to the park office to request a trail map and ask a few questions. My questions revealed that it was turkey hunting season, and I couldn’t hike the trails until 2pm.
So being the very adaptive gal that I am, I just decided to make the most of my day as I had no where I had to be that afternoon. I would simply start walking around the areas of the park that I could access. There was plenty of space to get several miles done. I stopped around 11:30am and had the healthy lunch I had packed earlier that morning. I decided that because I’d driven so far to check out the trails here, it made no sense to leave now, but I had a couple of hours to kill so I headed into the nearby town to check it out – see what it had to offer. This is where it happened.
I drove around for about 20 minutes and saw nothing but an old down town, churches, and residential areas. I was certain that there had to be more here – an area of town with regular stores, gas stations, fast food, etc. I was right. There was. Bring on the justification.
Need I remind you that I had just hiked all around for over 3 hours. (Justify, justify, justify.)
They have chocolate there. And ice cream. And you can get those mini blizzards. They are just a few bites – not diet blowing, just enough to get a bit of sugar.
Oh, the ways of the evil one. He had me in his sights and I played right along. I was Eve in the garden looking at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sadly I chose as Eve did. What God said was not good for food, I deemed as desirable and good. But unlike Eve, I was not deceived. I’d gone down this path many times before. What tasted good and pleasurable to my tongue, was damaging to my body, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
I just wanted a little. But apparently rather than ordering a mini, my mouth ordered a medium. And when I saw the error as the clerk handed me the wrong size, I did not protest. I’ll just toss out what I don’t want. But you all know what happened. There wasn’t any of it that I didn’t want. I am going back to hike 3.5 more miles. I’ll just burn it off. (Seriously, “Justify” should be my middle name.)
Watch out below, she’s coming in hot! Full speed ahead on the regret train.
I had every intention at the beginning of my day to only put good nutritious food into my body. I had every intention of just seeing what the town had to offer. I had every intention of “just” taking a couple of bites. And then, I had every intention of hiding all the evidence. All because I had a little bit of empty time and saw a DQ sign; my weak will was outdone by my flesh. I have prayed over and over again and asked God to give me the strength and to help me stand firm against this temptation in my life, BUT I DIDN’T RESIST. I went right along with it. I didn’t see the trap that I walked into.
God will help me when I take steps of faith and resist the temptation. But He’ll also let me just have my way when I don’t. I need to put up some hedges in my life. I need to have accountability to others in those areas where I am tempted. I need to not drive around mindlessly without a purpose. I need to know my weaknesses and be aware of the traps and danger zones in my life.
Some people are ok with just a little sugar. I am not. It isn’t good for me as it drags me right back into “I must have more” land. I know myself well enough to be honest about it. But just speaking the truth about a situation won’t fix it. Action is required. And sometimes it has to be drastic action.
Jesus said if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:29 ESV)
Temptations to Sin
“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (Matthew 18:7-9 ESV)
We need to hate our sin. We need to be repulsed by it. We need to kill it and destroy it within our flesh. Drastic action. We can’t just play around with sin thinking it is ok. Sin leads us to death. Choose full confession of sin and agreement with God. Don’t try to hide the evidence to avoid being found out. Be honest with those in your life about it. God can see it. He already knows. You will stand before Him and give an account. There will be consequences. Ask Eve. Your sin always affects others in your life. Always.
So in the words of our gracious Savior, “Go and sin no more.” He is with you and will give you what you need to have victory, but you must stand against it. You must take action. You must hate your sin and love your Savior. DQ isn’t evil. My desire for something sinful is the evil that I must rebuke. Sin entangles us and destroys us. Temptations must come to strengthen us, but caving in to those temptations is not the answer.
If you have chosen poorly like I did, confess it to God. Start working on your hedges. Call a friend who will stand firm with you and talk you away from the sin when you are being tempted. Stand against it. God is with you. Give Him the glory for your victory. Be encouraged. Press on!