I pulled a weed the other day. It looked harmless but turned out to be poison ivy. The rash has now spread all over my arms and face. I itch and am in pain and have had to resort to a steroid to get the swelling down. Just a few seconds of touching something harmful has led to weeks of pain and suffering. There was a moment when I looked at the poison ivy and thought, this might be poisonous (Leaves of three, let it be!), but in my impulsivity, I threw caution to the wind and picked it up.
How often do we do this in life and then pay a price later?
We must be aware of those things that appear to be harmless, but we know have a toxic touch. Dabbling in pornography or a flirtatious relationship falls into this category. Both may seem harmless when you first look or engage, but end in serious negative consequences.
Scripture tells us to flee from temptation, not pick it up and engage in it. Do we do this? Do we turn off that movie that is causing us to lust? Do we stop the advances of our office mate, knowing we are playing with fire? Do we go to a party and drink too much and later regret our actions? Temptation is like the beautiful ivy plant. It looks healthy and harmless but is toxic when touched.
Think about the poison ivy in your life. Be intentional when it comes to fleeing temptation. The suffering you avoid will be worth it.
Matthew 26:41- Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
James 4:7- Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
1 Corinthians 10:13- No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.