Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Slow Fade of Sin ~ Part 1

by Charity Pence

I love the song "Slow Fade" performed by Casting Crowns.  Each time I listen to this song, I am reminded of how quickly, and sometimes unintentionally, we can slip into sin.  Reflect for a moment on the following lyrics:

It's a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It's a slow fade
When black and white are turned to gray

And thoughts invade, choices are made
A price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just may be sinking

The path to sin may sometimes be like a fork in the road.  There are two clear directions we may go, and we make a conscious choice.  However, more often sin is like a road that gradually takes us further and further from our Heavenly Father.  We start on the path with what we believe to be a minor sin.  But the longer we travel that road, the more comfortable we become with that sin.  And then the sin grows into something bigger.  Before we realize what happened, we've travelled so far from where we began, we cannot see where we started. 

It's like a thought, or a fantasy.  We toy with an idea we know is wrong, but we let it play in our minds until we're comfortable.  And as the lyrics say, "the journey from your mind to your hands is shorter than you're thinking."  Thoughts become actions. 

It's like a lie, or an omission of the truth.  We get used to leaving out certain details until we suddenly find ourselves telling flat out lies.  Yet it isn't sudden.  It's a process we've allowed to take place.

The slow fade can take place with any sin.  A glimpse at an indecent photo can lead to an addiction to pornography.  "Playing around" with a particular substance such as alcohol or drugs can lead us to require more and more of the substance to be satisfied.  And as our lives begin to crumble, we wonder how we came so far.

Proverbs 5:21-23 offers the following warning: "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.  His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.  He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray."

We need to realize how serious the slow fade of sin can be.  However, we are not without hope.  We are not lacking in instruction.  We are not destined to go astray.  Our Heavenly Father who loves us and knows us better than we know ourselves has given us His Word; that is where we find instruction.  And in God, we find strength to resist temptation.  "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.  Because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength."  Psalm 26:3, 4.

Dear Heavenly Father, how easily and quickly we allow ourselves to stray when we do not keep our hearts and minds on You.  Please forgive us the sins we've allowed ourselves to grow comfortable with.  Help us to see what we are doing.  Convict us when sin, regardless of how trivial we may think it is, tempts us.  Give us strength to prevent ourselves from straying further away from you.  We need you, Lord.  I need You.  Thank You for never forsaking us.  Help us to reflect on this message and to understand the consequences we may face if we do not turn away from the path we've chosen.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Part 2 will be posted next week.  What to expect:
~How a close relationship of God protects us
~How to guard ourselves from the evil of Sin
~How to use God's word as daily instruction
~The importance of repentance
~God's great, never ending love for us

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