Years ago, I knew a guy who was an incredible athlete. He could do it all. He was the best player on every team in every sport. As a baseball player, he was a five-tool guy. Of all the guys I played with, he could have been the best. But it didn’t happen. His career never even got past middle school. Why? Distraction.
Proverbs 7:21-23–“With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life.”
In fairness, this guy had lots of things go wrong for him. But, there was still a choice to make. He chose the path of distraction and it cost him.
Of course, the Proverbs aren’t talking about baseball and lost potential on the field. The Proverbs are talking about life and the cost of sin.
Make no mistake: sin always takes more than it gives. It always over-promises. It never pays up. Just as distraction will cut short a baseball career, so sin will cut short a promising life. This is no guarantee of death for those who commit sins, but sin (we all know and have experienced this) will slowly but surely take the life out of you. It’s impossible to live against God and have fulfillment in the long run. Eventually, whether in this life or when this life is over, it catches up with you. It will destroy you.
The answer is not trying harder to avoid it, but is simple repentance and surrender to Jesus. That’s the essence of the message about Jesus. Sin has destroyed us and brings us nothing but eternal death. Since we are stained with it and can’t get ourselves clean, Jesus came to earth (God Himself on our behalf!), lived a perfect life since we couldn’t, died the death we sinners should die, and was raised back to life to show us what happens to those who believe in him.
Sin will destroy you. Jesus gives new life now and forever. He delivers what he promises, every time.
Here’s a prayer:
Lord Jesus, today, I’m focused on far more than my career as a player or coach. I realize distraction there could cost me, but I’m now fully aware that sin will destroy my entire life. Today, I turn from my sin and surrender everything to you. Thank you for your death for me and the new life guaranteed by your resurrection. Take over and live through me. Make my life what you want it to be. Amen.