On a bike ride, I was warming up so I opened up my jacket a little at the top. Just enough to let a little wind in but still closed enough to keep me protected if an accident occurred.
There I was minding my own business enjoying the ride when bam. Something stung me.
I was stunned!
I was shocked!
I could not imagine how something could even get in to reach my skin let alone sting me.
At first, I thought it was a stone or something else that kicked up from the street, but the sting wasn’t going away. We stopped and I iced it hoping the pain would be numb enough for the long ride home. It worked for awhile. But, that sting stung for some days to come.
It got me thinking. The sting is like sin. At first, we can’t imagine how the sin entered in or how we were tempted by it. We might even justify it, call it something else, or even make excuses for it. But, before we know it, it has moved in to stay and that is a sting worth worrying about.
The Bible gives us clear instructions on what we can do if we have been stung by sin:
Run: “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2.22
Be content: “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have…” Hebrews 13.5
Confess and repent: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1.9
Be careful who you surround yourself with: “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15.33
Look for the way out of the temptation/sin: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10.13
Keep an eye on your heart: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4.23
Keep in the direction of the narrow path: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7.13-14
Just do the right thing: “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4.17
As you daily strive not to be stung by sin and follow all of the above, you will be a shining example of what it means to…
so the world can see a shining example of a Christ follower.
Don’t ever let sin cloud your example and keep others from knowing God.
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