Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Wolf in a Sheep's Coat

I caught part of a cooking show yesterday and the goal of the show was to make a 30-minute, healthy, tasty meal. I have to be honest that if I do make a 30 minute meal it isn't always healthy. I haven't really taken the time to study new recipes and ways of cooking so that I can familiarize myself with healthier recipes that are quick. It is much the same way with our spiritual life. If we have not taken the time to study the Word of God and know Him, how do we know when we are off track?

The last couple of days, it has been easy to be tempted by the carrot cake with raisins, coconut and pineapple covered with 2 coats of that beautifully smooth cream cheese frosting that just melts in your mouth, which is sitting on my counter top . I have carrots cut up and ready for snacking in the refrigerator and I know that between the 2 option, I should choose to eat the raw carrots. I know they are good for me, low in calories, good for my eyes and they will make me hop faster. But my little 4 year old doesn't know all that yet. He just knows that the frosting he has been sneaking is sweeter.

While I love my son and do my best to instruct him in the way to go...what if I didn't have his best interest at heart? What if I too wanted the carrot cake and wanted someone else to join in the fun of eating it and convinced him that "it's a 'carrot' cake, it's just as good as the carrots in the frig." Being young he doesn't know the difference, he hasn't studied health. He puts his trust in me. So it is with us when we are young Christians. We put our trust in mentors, Sunday school teachers, pastors. Sometimes even family and friends.

We have a newborn baby in our house, he is only 5 weeks old and lives solely off my milk at this point. He might be happy to take in some gravy or even some of that cream cheese frosting also, but that is not what he needs or even what he can tolerate at this point. He doesn't even know that those options exist. He has a couple more months before he gets to experience more. As he grows he will get to know all sorts of different flavors and my the time he moves out of our home and starts life on his own, there will certain meals which he is familiar with and knows how to make and what sides mom would put with them. Because he will know me and know my way of cooking. When we are babies in the Word, we don't know anything until we grow in it. So we put our trust in others to teach us and hope that they themselves are not babies of the word. How can we best protect ourselves from being misled? To know the Word of God and even more importantly to know the Character of God Himself, to study Him to have a relationship with Him.

It is easy to be tempted with evil when it is being presented as good. Carrot cake is made with carrots. That is true, kinda, but did I disclose how much sugar is in just one small piece, and what the sugar will do to our bodies, our teeth, our waistline!? Does Satan disclose what a simple wrong decision could do to our walk, our ministry, our influence? And who does Satan love to use to misguide us? Why those we trust the most. Wouldn't it be easier to be led astray by a trusted family member than a complete stranger? By our friends that encourage us to "just try" the drugs, for a fun night out, boyfriends that tempt us with premarital sex, husbands that tempt us to watch an inappropriate move to spice up our love life? Children that talk us into letting them get by without disciplining? A family member that starts us a gossipy conversation?

I have been led and led others many times into sins that aren't really anything major. Like gossipping...it isn't like I've killed someone, but it is a sin. Yet aren't all sins equal in God's mind? And where does it stop. If I can justify myself with that sin, what about the next that is just a little worse in my mind? How I can draw my line? We can recognize that line and those sins by becoming more like Him and having a mind more like Christ. And we can do that by spending time in His Word.

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