If you threw a frog into boiling water it would immediately jump out, recognizing the danger of the heat. If, however, a frog sitting in room temperature water being slowly heated to boiling point the frog would stay put until its death, never realizing its harmful surroundings.
I fear we are much the same.
Acclimated. It’s what we become to our surroundings. Whether it is a positive or negative one, we easily acclimate to them. In life, we weaken our senses to the dangers around us the more we are within their grasp. We desensitize ourselves to the risk; to the sin.
For example, I could never imagine myself robbing a bank. But say I start by cheating on my taxes. Then I forget to pay for something at the grocery store in the bottom of my basket. Next time, I intentionally hope they don’t see what’s down there. Eventually I find myself lying and stealing whenever possible. Shoplifting turns to burglary. Yes, that’s unlikely, but it’s possible.
The same happens in our sin life. If we were thrown into the boiling water of our sin, we would quickly bolt. But the longer we wallow in it, the more likely we are to burn in it.
The longer we wallow – the more likely we are to burn.
So often we think that life is about avoiding the big messes. But what I think we fail to see is that the small ones are just as dangerous.
In C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, we see an older demon advising another, younger demon in the ways to draw their “patients” away from God and into their grasp, into the hands of the devil. In it, we read:
You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy (God). It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
– The Screwtape Letters (pages 60-61)
I think Lewis hit the nail on the head. The measure of the sin matters not. The amassed separation between God and ourselves should be our only concern. The longer we steep in our sin, the closer death’s arrival is. Though it may not be a physical death, at first, our spiritual vitality will slowly perish.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can choose to live another way. Decide instead to let go of your sinfulness and to embrace what God has for you.
Some things to consider:
- Is your conscience trying to tell you something? What?
- What stops you from living your best life?
- Have you prayed that God help you overcome your vices?