Try Harder

I’m convinced that many of us may not resist the temptation to sin as we should. It’s not

that we want to sin, for we don’t. It’s just that when temptation crosses our path, we don’t fight it

as though we were in a life or death struggle. We may resist, but the resistance is only token.

Not long ago, a friend of mine gave a lecture in which he raised the question, “What if

every time we sinned, an ugly scar appeared upon our face? How much harder would we resist

sin?” Good question. None of us would like to have our faces scarred. Scars to our faces would

be embarrassing, affecting our relationships and our behavior. I’m sure we would tenaciously

fight the temptation of sin if succumbing meant a big scar on our faces.

You see where I’m going, right? Why should we fight harder to preserve our temporal

flesh than we would to preserve our eternal soul? The fact that we can’t see the scars sin leaves

upon us doesn’t mean they’re not there. Friends, resist the temptation to sin, using not just a

token resistance before you succumb, but a persistence that reflects a life and death struggle.

~Steve Higginbotham

via Plumbline, Central church of Christ, Bastrop, LA

In Nathanial Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is found guilty of

adultery. As part of her punishment, she is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (adulteress) on her dress

to shame her. I’m not suggesting we go back to those days, but I can’t help but think Bro.

Higginbotham’s friend has a point we should consider. We worry terribly so over our outward

appearance, while perhaps too often ignoring the scars of sin on our souls. The apostle Peter was

painfully aware of the struggles with temptation and through inspiration warned fellow

Christians of the dangers of Satan, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil,

prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith,

…” (1 Peter 5:8-9a). We are indeed involved with a life or death [eternal!] struggle with Satan.

But we also are reminded of the wonderful blessings of being in Christ, “...but thanks be

to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). “And if anyone

sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;…” (1 John 2:1a).

Let us be more aware each day of the spiritual battle we are in and prepare ourselves for

the daily battle with prayer and time in God’s Word. With these preparations we can “extinguish

all the flaming missiles of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:10-18)! ~P. Mowrer