Leave the Markers in the Box

Every now and again there is something really cute posted on social media. I saw one such video last week. The opening shot showed two little boys (maybe 2 and 3 years old) standing before their mother. They were both covered from head to toe in magic marker ink. Clearly, they had been having some fun.

The video captures a brief dialogue between mom and the oldest boy. She asks, “What happened?” The boy’s answer was, “Brother did it.” She asked, “Why?” He just shook his head and asked how much trouble he was in. He wondered if he had to tell his dad.

Then he offered, “Should I go sit over there and think about what I have done?” Clearly, mom has resorted to time outs before. That little guy knew he had done wrong and was awaiting a familiar consequence for his actions.

Sin is like that. As we learned this past Sunday, sin entices us. That term literally means to “bait the hook.” Sin is attractive. We are tempted. We want it. Soon we are dragged away by our own evil desires or by the cunning entrapments of the enemy.

Once the desire takes control, sin is off and running. The temptation is not the sin, it is the action that follows that causes us to sin.

For a moment, go back and consider the video of those two funny little boys. When they first discovered the box of markers, they had not yet sinned. When they remarked how pretty all the colors were, they had not yet sinned. When the older one explained how they work to the younger one, they had not yet sinned. When they discussed how mom and dad were not in the room right then, they had not yet sinned.

But the moment they took the caps off and started drawing on their arms and chests, sin was amok.

In James chapter one, the half-brother of Jesus is teaching us about that exact same cycle. He culminates his point with the truth that after sin is full-grown, it gives birth to spiritual death.
This week, you and I are not apt to be drawing on our bodies with colorful markers. Our sins will more likely involve lust or envy or anger or stealing or covetousness or…whatever. But we have the same temptations as those little boys.

The issue is, what do we do with the temptations? Do we continue to wallow in the desire or turn away? Do we play with the inappropriate thought or choose another way of thinking? Do we move on or let the enemy move us to sinful action?

Let’s pray for each other to persevere under trials. And leave the markers in the box!
Sherry Worel
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.

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