Yesterday, I spent about two and a half hours in the sun. You may assume that I covered my body with sunscreen because it was about 95 degrees.
I was dumb.
I just put it on my face.
I didn’t want to feel like a waxy candle all over my shoulders and neck, so I just felt like a waxy candle on my face.
Later that day, I realized my mistake. I wasn’t just burned; I was fried. My shoulders look like I’d smeared strawberry ice cream on them.
So where am I going with all this chatter about sunscreen and ice cream?
I couldn’t pass up such an amazing analogy.
We put ourselves out in the sun and don’t use sunscreen. We lie down on the pavement on a hot summer day and hope we won’t get burned.
We put ourselves in compromising situations and expect that we won’t fail.
If you’re three months sober, you don’t walk into a bar and expect to come out still sober.
If you had a porn addiction, you don’t go into the Victoria’s Secret store and expect not to lust.
If you have a spending problem, you don’t go shopping at the outlet mall every weekend and expect to have your cash still in your wallet.
If you struggle with body image issues, don’t stand in front of a mirror for ten minutes every morning and expect to feel good about yourself.
We think we are stronger than we really are.
We need to STOP IT.
Remember these simple things…
- Don’t think you’re invincible. If you think you can handle anything, you’re setting yourself up for a painful fall. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12, NKJV).
- Don’t put yourself into compromising situations. Don’t test the waters to see if there are sharks. THERE ARE. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being temptedby God”; for God cannot be temptedby evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (James 1:13-15, NASB).
- Be honest and repent when you do fall. I’ve already established that you’ll make mistakes sometimes. The best thing to do is to come to God with a repentant heart and ask for forgiveness. Be genuine and truthful when others ask how your spiritual walk is. Let them know that you could use their prayers. He whoconceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he whoconfesses and forsakes them will find compassion (Proverbs 28:13).
The mountains in this life are tall. We have so many struggles and issues and temptations. The world is a sin buffet.
Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get over such-and-such a sin. I will never stop sinning, but I can take precautionary measures not to mess up.
One thing I struggle with is wasting time on the Internet. I can spend three hours online, and it only feels like 30 minutes. Time flies when I’m looking at cooking blogs and checking my email. If I wanted to limit my Internet usage, I’d need to admit I have a problem. Then I’d need to get away from tempting situations. (For example, I could remove my laptop from my room, leave it off during the day, and find a new hobby that keeps me busy.) Then I’d need to confess my sin to God and maybe to a Christian friend or family member when I spend too much time online.
I may not be able to overcome my Internet addiction, but I definitely can’t overcome it unless I try.
You may never be able to overcome your body image issues, spending problem, lust, or temptation to drink. But you might. You definitely won’t be able to if you don’t even try.
I don’t know what it’s like to overcome a sin.
I’m not the drug addict who spent a year in rehab and has been clean for ten years.
I’m not the former gossip queen who learned to keep her thoughts to herself.
Unfortunately, I’m not the girl with an addiction to the Internet who overcame her struggle. I’m not there yet, and I may never be.
But there is hope I will overcome it because “we overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
I hope you get over your mountain. There is hope that you’ll get over your mountain.
Yes, sin is knocking at the door of your heart; and temptations will always be creeping around. Try to fight them. You won’t win every time. (In fact, most times, you’ll lose.) But victory is a beautiful gift from God.
And victory won’t happen unless you try.