As a young child I went through the dreaded allergy testing where they pricked my arms and back with different known allergens and waited for a reaction. My biggest reaction was to citrus foods, which crushed my mother as she'd always nursed every cold or sniffle with orange juice. I was okay knowing this was bad since I didn't like orange juice anyway.
So life went on.
I could walk right by Orange Julius in the mall without any sorrow since orange wasn't my fave.
But along came summer. And fresh-squeezed lemonade, served in big sizes at the county fair. I looked forward to that lemonade every summer and that one large cup never seemed to bother me.
Hmmmm. Maybe I'm not allergic anymore, I thought, as I got older. I'd have a lemonade or two every summer, without reaction.
Then I got brave and started making my own at home. I perfected it and a few years ago started buying lemons every year, late August, when I just ached for lemonade. I'd use one lemon a day and make myself a single serving every afternoon, adding just the right amount of sugar for perfection.
I'd be fine for about two weeks and then I'd start noticing changes. My eyes would seep and the skin around my eyes would crack and get painful. I developed a rash that almost looked like I got punched in the face (or was hit by a flying lemon....).
So off of the lemonade I'd go. Apparently, the citrus builds up in my body and causes me to react this way.
But do I learn?
No. Every summer I am tempted by the lemonade. And I'm fine when I have one glass here and there. But then I want more.And Trader Joe's sells organic fresh lemonade that is better than what I can make. So here I am, again, with a sore eye (this time it's my eyelid), and waving farewell to the lemonade.
Every year I think it won't hurt me.
How often do we treat sin the same way?
I can do that.
No one will know.
I got away with it.
It didn't hurt me.
The lies we convince ourselves with never help us.
I need to treat the lemonade as the poison it is to my body instead of allowing it to build up over time. And we need to look at all sin in the same way. We need to turn from it and avoid it. We need to not allow ourselves to be swayed by things that will inevitably cause harm.
One little look at pornography.
One small lie to avoid trouble.
One careless word.
One thought of someone other than your spouse.
One haughty look.
One bit of gossip between friends.
One selfish desire fulfilled.
One bad attitude.
One murderous thought.
One uncontrolled outburst.
Can lead to more.
We are not our own when we come to Christ. We were bought with the price of His life, His blood. We are admonished to glorify God with our bodies and our spirits.
Don't allow the little sins to build up. Our decisions and choices every day have bigger impacts than we realize.
Until next time, keep your eyes on Jesus.
I'll be over here tending to my broken skin.