Monday, May 28, 2012

Too Close For Comfort

I have been married for twenty-seven years to a wonderful man whom I love more and more every day. I am soon to be fifty years old and have chosen to allow myself to age gracefully without the benefit of Lady Clairol (my hair is gray). I am thirty pounds over MY ideal weight, and more, over the health magazines ideal weight. I am not the most fashionable person preferring a bargain rather than a brand name. I am more of a 'mama' than a 'model' and I like it that way. 

I said all that to say this: I recently had a man flirt with me! It shocked me! It was totally unexpected and made me feel extremely uncomfortable. When I realized that I was not imagining what was happening I moved closer to my husband and whispered in his ear: "can you put your arm around me right now". Being the wise husband that he is, he knew something was up and I needed him to send a message. The message was sent and the man kept his distance after that. But how easy it could have been for me to slip into sin if I had wanted to. 

Satan sets snares for us all the time, he just happened to be a little too obvious with this particular one and I recognized it as a trap right away, so I was able to sidestep out of the path of danger right away. But sometimes his traps aren't so obvious and if we are not on our guard we are apt to fall into them and before we know it he has caught us in a pit of sin.  

1 Thessalonians 5:22-23

abstain from every appearance of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible clearly tells us to stay away from what might ruin our testimony, the very appearance of evil. We once had a board member, in one of our churches, who owned a dairy. On one particular day his delivery driver couldn't work his shift so the owner had to make the run for him. One of the stops happened to be a liquor store that had ordered individual creamers. The next Sunday someone at church questioned the board member as to why they had seen him exiting a liquor store. It didn't look very good. A few quick explanations later and the matter was settled but it did make the board member wonder who else in the community saw him in a compromising situation and thought he was frequenting a liquor store. 

As Christians, we are to be sanctified: set apart for God's purpose. We are to be on our guard and ever watchful "Be on the alert; stand firm in the faith; acquit yourselves like men; be strong." 1 Cor. 16:13. We are told to  "conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ... stand firm" Philippians 1:27

We can get too close for comfort to sin if we are not on our guard, if we are not aware that Satan is setting traps for us to fall into. Sometimes Christians are like little children who like to play around the edges of a mud puddle. They keep edging closer and closer seeing how close they can get without getting their shoes muddied. But all too often they go too far and  before very long they're covered in the mud they should have avoided. 

Stay away from anything that might compromise your testimony. Avoid anything that might bring condemnation on the name 'Christian'. We represent Christ and because of Him we need to strive to lead a blameless life. We are not perfect and we will make mistakes but many mistakes can be avoided if we stay away from compromising situations and be on our guard. 

Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

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