We have two dogs, a long-haired dachshund and a Scottie. Buster, our dachshund, is the timid, short, long one and Beau the Scottie is the stout, brave one. Both are considered members of our family, and Buffy dotes on them and cares for them.
I read several years ago in a paper from a city in the Northwest about a family’s unusual pet. The news story went that the father had found an abandoned baby mountain lion in the wilderness. Since the man lived on a ranch, he decided to take the baby mountain lion home and nurse it to health through this early stage.
The family fed it with a bottle, cuddled it and the children played with the little mountain lion. They treated it like a pet. Months passed and the little cub became more aggressive.
One day, the man’s oldest son was roughing around with the young lion on the floor of the family’s den. With no warning, the animal suddenly turned on the boy and attacked him. Its jaws were powerful and his bites tore big gashes on the boy’s arm. The boy was screaming frantically as the father grabbed the lion, muzzled him and tied his legs together with rope to restrain him.
The young man was rushed to a nearby emergency medical center. After some hours of surgery and over 40 stitches, the surgeon told the terrified parents that their son would recover. Yet, he said that it would take months of physical therapy for the child to regain the use of his arm.
What happened? The mountain lion’s real nature had come out.
That is what sin does. The progress into deeper sin may start as a small amusement or interest. At first it gratifies and satisfies. We justify it as innocent fun.
This dabbling in sin is manifested in many ways. Slip some quarters out of the petty cash. Thumb though that lewd magazine while I am out of town. Watch that pornographic movie when it is just me in a faraway motel. Gamble just one more night. Flirt “innocently” with that new man in the office. Tell that one little lie to impress someone.
All these activities begin as temporary pleasure and yet come back to ensnare us. Before we even realize it, that little insignificant thing becomes catastrophic for everyone involved.
Families are torn apart from affairs of the parents. Children are separated from their fathers who are serving time in the penitentiary for fraud. Children are placed in foster homes because mom started with marijuana and now she is addicted to hard drugs. Daddy explodes over nothing and becomes destructive because he has to have a drink to calm down.
James put it this way: “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15)
What is the lesson? If I am a follower of Christ, I will never begin any activity that could potentially trap me. I must refuse to engage in something that takes me farther from fellowship with Christ. I won’t “dabble” in things that have the possibility to get out of hand. Dabbling with insignificant sin is really like the father believing the mountain lion will always be a lovable pet.
The writer of Proverbs addressed spiritual bondage as a result of sin: “The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” (Proverbs 5:22-23).
Those are pretty strong and clear words.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: