July 22 I Thursday
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us....” —Hebrews 12:1
I once read about a circus act involving a man and a huge python. The man probably got the python as a newborn in Africa when the python was only a few inches long. If the man had taken its head between his thumb and finger, he could have easily crushed it, but he did not. The man played with the python and sought to train it. Years later, the duo became a climactic circus performance, which involved the man standing very still as the python wrapped itself around him until all that could be seen was a column of snake. At that point, the man would give the signal, whether a noise or a movement, and the python would unravel and slither across the ring while the audience broke into applause for this daring act.
For years, the man and the python performed this act until one day, as the audience quietly anticipated the release of the man from the python, they heard, instead, a loud crack and a scream. Circus workers ran into the ring as they realized what had happened—the python had constricted and crushed the man, in turn, killing him.
What an awful, but poignant picture of sin! When the python was small, the man never dreamed that it would one day crush him. Yet, sin is not static; sin’s impact and effect escalate as it grows. Just as the python seemed small and innocent at first, it later became a killer monster.
There are times when we could resist sin but do not, allowing ourselves to be sucked down a destructive path. We may set up a boundary, but then we test the sin by pushing its boundary, until eventually one day, we are overtaken by the sin. Paul warns us, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:21). The results of sin are always shame and death.
Sin may seem fun or harmless as long as we can get away with it, but sin is a debtor and it always pays its debt. Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). When we feel the crushing weight of sin, may we remember that God sent us His Son as the atonement for our sins. We must always be sober minded about our sins and their consequences, but thanks be to God that we can find freedom and life in Christ.
Prayer: Dear God, open my eyes to see the sin that could be inconspicuously growing in my life. Thank You that I can find freedom from sin’s entanglement in You.