It had been a while since I’d had any gluten. (It’s amazing how quickly one can forget the terrible times I’d endured.) As I reached for the golden glazed bit of sweet heaven I told myself, “It’s just a little bit. Surely it won’t be that bad. I probably won’t even notice I’ve eaten it!”
My prediction held true until bedtime. I took stock of my health and figured it would be safe to snitch another. Surely if I was going to react, it would have happened by now. That second piece was just as smooth going down as the first.
This morning when I woke up, the first thing I noticed was how much I ached. Then I noticed how horribly stiff I was. By the time I got to the kitchen, my feet were killing me. I cooked some breakfast for the seven kids and two adults that seemed to want to eat first thing in the morning.
Finally, I got to change out of pajamas into my clothes. “Funny,” I thought, “These pants fit just fine yesterday and they sure are tight today.” Then I noticed how swollen my legs and feet were. A peek into the mirror revealed that whatever swelling had begun in my limbs was making its way rapidly to my face and neck.
As I sit and write this, my feet hurt, my legs feel like massive logs that are stiff and hard to move. My fingers hardly want to type because they are so swollen. But it could have been worse. A few years ago I ended up in the hospital because the swelling got so severe I couldn’t breathe. Why had I forgotten?
I find it’s the same with sin. One day I think to myself, “Self, you’ve been doing pretty good lately – no yelling at the kids, no lying or exaggerating, no jealousy or greed taking over your heart. Good job, Self!” Because my conscience is clean, my relationship with God is strong and vibrant. (Naturally, I don’t struggle with pride or self-righteousness!)
Without warning something will come up, like a temptation to think impure thoughts or speak negatively about someone I love (like my hubby or kids or parents) or get involved in a conversation centered on gossiping. I won’t even notice how I justify it in my heart. Instead of being honest with what’s really going on I forge ahead – just one little slip.
My prayer life seems unaffected. The Bible still comes to life as I read it. I’ve been deceived into thinking that all’s well with my soul. That’s why the next sin is a little easier, and the third one is a breeze. Before I know it, I’ve fallen flat on my face with a swollen heart of pride and a painful realization that there really are consequences to my actions.
In fact, sin has a delayed reaction just like my allergy. It creeps up on you. It’s so easy to slowly slide into a lifestyle of ‘snitching sin’ just for a taste of temporary pleasure. A little taste here, a tiny nibble there, and soon communication with God is disrupted. Bible reading becomes blah and boring. I’m no longer passionate about what God is doing around me, and too quickly I get caught up in the worries of this world, the hustle, bustle and rush to do nothing of lasting importance.
For my physical allergic reaction, I’m eating antihistamines like candy today. It will take a while, but I know that soon I’ll be back to normal.
Thankfully, God has provided the ultimate in spiritual antihistamines. Confession and forgiveness. When we confess our sins, God is always faithful and promises to forgive us of everything we’ve done that doesn’t meet His standard. I love that! When we dabble in sin, we’ll pay the consequences. But when we go to God for forgiveness, we’ll reap great reward in relationship with Him.
How about you? Is it time to stop feasting on things your soul can’t tolerate? Are you ready for the spiritual antihistamines that God provides?
We cannot be women who ride the fence when it comes to holiness. If we want to make an eternal impact on the next generation, our children, our spouses, and the people around us, we need to put a stop to ingesting the allergen of the soul – sin.