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The Life Cycle of a Dangerous Choice - Part 5

From: Tempted, Tested, True

By: Arnie Cole & Michael Ross



Conception.

Eventually our “relationship” with temptation becomes so strong that we are overwhelmed with our desire for it. Foreplay leads to full consummation. The Bible tells us that the joining of a man and woman is not just physical, it is deeply spiritual. And this unification of spirit and body can result in the formation of another being; another soul. In the case of temptation—a monster.

But as we continue to engage and nurture our temptation, we choose to ignore the whispers of God. When this happens, He raises His voice. He begins to call a little louder, and speak to us more strongly. He uses all kinds of methods to get our attention and to help us turn from the path we’re on; to flee before sin is conceived.


Gestation and Growth.

If we don’t heed God’s warnings, we end up being dragged into the next phase of the temptation cycle: We surrender to sin mentally, spiritually, and sometimes physically. We commit to it. Become one with it. We begin to “know” it.


Soon our “relationship” becomes pregnant with all kinds of new possibilities that thrill us or give us satisfaction or some form of comfort or escape. We love nurturing this new secret life inside us. It is ours and ours alone. We’re convinced that no one else knows, and we hold it very close—never letting on that we are carrying it inside us. We nurture our sin with all the love and energy we can afford. And for some, the thing that holds our desire begins to define us. It can even give us identity and purpose.

We may have fleetingly considered the possibility of negative consequences, but how can we consider the negatives when the positives have such a strong magnetic pull? The satisfaction of having our cake and eating it too, keeps our mind from acknowledging the long-term effects of our new relationship. The serotonin levels in our brain increase and our pleasure and happiness obviates all other thoughts of consequences. Everything feels shiny and sweet. Yet fantasy is hardly ever grounded in reality. Eventually reality bites us.


When a child is conceived, it is planted deeply in the mother’s womb. A source of nourishment is established, connecting it in “the secret place” where it can be protected and grow in a warm, dark environment, barely affected by the outside world. Two lives in one body. One outward, one hidden. Thus, biology gives us insight into how we nurture temptation and grow sin. It forms within us, conceived by desire and the allure of hope for some secret happiness, pleasure, or connection, and we allow it to become planted deep within, in a secret place in our heart or mind. It is a dark place where we do not allow the light of the Scripture or truth to permeate. A place where we secretly nurture it little by little, telling no one, showing no outward signs of what we have conceived. And we feed it from within. But as all children do, sin begins to grow and take on more strength and more life of its own. And, at some point, we are so pregnant with sin that it begins to show. Our life begins to exhibit outward changes that make it easier for others to see that something has changed about us. We may change our habits, we may wear different clothes, we may not sleep as well, or eat or drink the same things. We have cravings. We are feeding our sin and it is growing within us.


Delivery.

James tells us that, at some point, sin becomes mature. And when its full gestation within us is complete, it gives birth to death. Something always dies when sin is delivered. It may be a death inside us, or it may cause death in our family or our world. The ugly truth is this: Sin always brings death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[1]

[1] Romans 6:23



From Tempted, Tested, True


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