The Pet

We often underestimate the power and consequences of sin in our lives. It is as if we brought two baby tigers home to play with. At first they make wonderful pets. We derive hours of enjoyment from them. They appear cute and playful. They crawl onto our laps and beg us to stroke their heads. They pose little danger. Our neighbors and relatives come by and take a closer look as we play with our new pets. With puzzled looks they ask, “Aren’t those tigers? Aren’t you afraid they’ll get too big? Are you sure you know what you’re doing? These aren’t indoor pets!” We jauntily throw their concerns aside and answer: “They are so playful. They wouldn’t hurt me! I can train them to live indoors, and besides, they like it here. They won’t grow too big if I don’t feed them too much. We only feed them once a day, and not very much! Don’t worry about it!” And so we continue to play with our tigers. We feed them, grow fond of them and play with them more with every passing day. We don’t notice that as the weeks pass the tigers are growing ever so slowly. With the first scratch we exclaim, “Oh, they’re just playful!” When they begin too nip at our hands we scold them. “Stop that or out you go!” But we don’t mean it. After all, they aren’t that much trouble. But as the years go by, they grow ever larger until we find them stalking us from room to room and we hide from them in terror, lest we gaze unprotected into their fierce, unmerciful eyes.

So it is with sin. What we begin to play with will one day rule us with unmerciful cruelty. The sins that we sacrifice a few minutes a day to will grow to demand virtually all of our time. The sins we use to serve our needs will one-day demand that we give up all that we treasure to slavishly serve them. We become slaves to those whom we obey. We must not wait to cast sin off through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sin will not be conquered by our flesh. It cannot be tamed and if we hide it in our hearts it will grow to jealously demand our every attention! We must not take pleasure in the things that God hates, but renounce them and find pleasure in Him and in those things that please Him!