I went to a movie with a friend, and he gorged on popcorn, cokes, and candy. As the movie was about to end, he leaned over and whispered: “I don’t feel good. I’ll wait for you in the back.” As I walked out, I saw him holding his stomach and twisting his face.
“You want me to drive?” I offered.
“No, no, I’ll be okay,” he said.
On the way home, he slammed on the brakes, opened his door, and hurled in the street.
“You sure you don’t want me to drive?” I asked again.
“No, no,” he said, breathing heavy. “I—I feel better now.”
We drove another hundred yards, and he slammed the brakes on again! (The seat belt began to hurt my shoulder.)
Later he told me after he got home he spent some time in the bathroom. I can imagine that point in his ordeal—as he leaned over the commode and begin to experience the candy and popcorn for the second time—that he asked himself: Why in the world did I ever eat this?! Talk about regret!
I can think of no better illustration of sin and temptation in our lives than this true story.
In fact, that’s what happened to a man named Lot.
Now that That’s Out of My System
Lot had flocks that needed feeding, and Sodom had lush grass that could meet the need. So he made his decision:
Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan. —Genesis 13:11
But look at what Lot got along with his green grass:
Righteous Lot, [was] oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds). —2 Peter 2:7-8
Is one worth the other?
It’s Not What You Want . . . It’s What You Get
Sin’s temptation lures us away from God with a quick and easy solution to our immediate need. But there’s no line-item veto with sin. We can’t say: “Hmm, I think I’ll keep the pleasure of adultery, but I’ll pass on the devastation to my family” (Proverbs 6:27-29). Sin gives a package deal. Regret comes with it.
I know of one man who tells his grandkids: “It’s not what you want to eat that makes you fat, it’s what you get.”
Sin’s temptation offers the same principle. It’s not the pleasure of sin that devastates our lives. It’s what we get with that pleasure.
3 Lessons from Lot
Lot teaches us it’s not what we want from sin that harms us; it’s what we get.
- Straddling the moral fence give us the worst—not the best—of both worlds. Lot tried it and was “oppressed” and “tormented” in his soul (2 Peter 2:7-8). Regret came with compromise.
- We can’t live half our lives for the Lord and half for sin and self. God calls us to choose (Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15).
- Sin’s pleasure and temptation is only a lure for our regret and destruction. That’s why Scripture requires loving the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27).
Where are you feeling temptation today to meet your needs with sin’s alternative?
Let’s learn from Lot the sickening results of compromise so that later we aren’t hurling the sin we’ve swallowed.
Tell me what you think: What other metaphors help you remember the negative results of sin? To leave a comment, just click here.