Here’s a true story. A man caught a large rattlesnake and kept it in a cage. One day he got brave with the snake and decided to use it to jokingly give his wife a good scare. He opened up the cage, firmly placed a stick directly behind the snack’s head, caught the snake, and put it into a bag. Then he carried the bag into his living room and dumped the snake out onto the floor in front of his wife. Naturally, she shrieked in horror and fled the room as the man enjoyed a hearty laugh.
Then came the job of getting the snake back into the bag. The man took his stick and again placed it behind the snake’s head even as the rest of the snake’s body writhed and twisted. Everything was going as planned until the man made the mistake of pressing down too hard on the stick. Suddenly the stick snapped and broke in the middle. This freed up the snake’s head and with lightning speed the snake turned and struck the man’s index finger. As the deadly fangs plunged deep into the finger, in rushed the poison.
So how does the story end? Well, thanks to good medical treatment the man’s life was saved. The finger, however, had to be amputated. For the rest of his life when someone would ask the man how he lost his index finger he would say, “A snake bit me.” And when he was asked, “How did a snake bite you?” he would answer, “The stick broke.”
Alright, now let’s move to the spiritual application of this story. Just as that fellow had a pet rattler, you have a pet sin. This is the sin to which you are most vulnerable and susceptible. (I promise not to ask what your pet sin is if you promise not to ask what mine is!) But what I will do is implore you to resist the temptation to play around with your sin. Don’t trust whatever “stick” you’ve got that you think enables you to enjoy the sin while avoiding its poison. Believe me, sooner or later that “stick” will break and your pet sin will bite you. And when it does, you’ll inevitably pay a high price because of it. Consider yourself warned.