The Sliminess of Sin…

So, I just lost an hour of my life.  Plus, my hands smell like vinegar.  I’m not really in my happy place right now…

As it turns out, slime and carpets – don’t mix.  Actually, they do – very well.  In fact, they mix so well that when the slime dries, it pretty much becomes one with the carpet.  In order to separate the two, you need an hour of your time, (at least), a whole lot of vinegar, and a nonstop prayer listing all the reasons you find joy in your daughter… (I think I need to re-read my post on finding joy…)

Of course, the slime didn’t “come right up!” as the happy faces on YouTube told me it would.  But, with some elbow grease and the right supplies, I think the carpet will at least be passable.

How on earth could this happen?

So, during that hour I was kneeling on the carpet trying to get the stain out, I imagined how Eliana might have been playing with the slime.  Letting it squish through her fingers… seeing how it would ooze from one hand to the other…maybe it fell from her fingers little by little onto the carpet…maybe she left a lid off the container… I’ll never know exactly how it happened.  But, I can almost guarantee why it happened.

Eliana wasn’t paying attention.

What if Eliana would have been Pay attention to sinpaying better attention? What if she would have asked me to help her right away?  Would it have been easier to get it off the carpet before it really soaked in and set in? I have to believe it would have been.

As I put more and more vinegar on the spot, the slime started to get sticky.  Then it struck me how the slime was like my sin.  At first, when it is ooey and gooey, and it’s pretty fun.  I can play around with it, and it’s all just fun and games. But, the longer I have it and mess around with it, the stickier it becomes.  Until, before I even realize it, sin has become one with me – and that’s pretty scary.

Wait, that’s a sin?

When Brad and I first started studying the bible, there was a section about sin.  When I heard it was coming up, I felt OK about it.  It wasn’t like I had committed any of the major sins, so I figured I was doing all right.  And then I read these verses.

 But when you follow your own wrong inclinations your lives will produce these evil results:  impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, and feeling that everyone else if wrong except those in your own little group – and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing.  Let me tell you again as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.                                                                        Galatians 5:19-21 (TLB)

 

On one hand, I breathed a sigh of relief, on the other, I was absolutely convicted.  Jealousy, envy, complaints, criticism… I knew they weren’t the best, but, they were sins?  I had just considered them things you should try not to do.  But, surely, they weren’t bad enough to keep me from going to heaven.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

It’s NOT all just semantics…

 

SinI’ve been familiar with the 10 commandments since I went to Sunday School as a toddler.  But, I had learned them as a toddler, and I don’t think I ever actually looked them up until this past year…  So, I thought of the 10th commandment as – Thou shall not covet.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Did I connect jealousy and envy to covet? Nope. But, here it is –

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.                                                                                                                  Exodus 20:17 (NIV)

Sounds pretty similar to being jealous or envious when I actually read it.

Turns out, it really helps to read the bible.  I have learned so much by reading it myself – versus just listening to others talk about it.  I have had so many aha moments and realizations (even in the middle of a Ford dealership waiting room), that I am so grateful for.  But, if I hadn’t read on my own, I never would have made the connections or discovered I actually was sinning – a lot…

Pay attention!

So, while studying, I learned a lot more about God’s Rules (read about some of those here), and what were considered sins.  And, then, I looked at which ones I was committing on a pretty regular basis.  That was very eye-opening.  As I went through the list, I thought about my repeat offenders and traced the progression of how these sins oozed their way into my life.   It usually happened so incrementally, most of the time, I didn’t even realize it.  Sin was very sneaky.

So, what I found was – just like Eliana – I  was not paying attention.

I was under the impression that my feelings of jealousy, although not ideal, were nothing to really worry about.  After all, that’s normal, right? But what if I paid closer attention to my feelings?  What if, when I started to feel jealous or envious of someone, I stopped, and said a prayer of gratitude instead? Maybe that would help me not get so tangled up and let that sin really set in.

So, what did we learn?

Well, Eliana and I had a talk about how it is important to take care of our belongings.  Not everything is easily fixed or replaceable, so we really need to be good to what we have – and pay close attention to what we’re doing.  Hopefully our talk will come to her mind next time she’s playing with her toys and it’s time to clean up!

In the end, it all worked out.  I was able to get the slime out of the carpet, Eliana was super grateful, and I think I found a way to help me combat my sinful nature.

Your thoughts?

What have you found that has helped you pay attention and be more aware of when you sin?  What has brought you comfort and given you encouragement? I would love to read about what you found!  Can’t wait to hear from you!

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