Doing something wrong just once usually does hurt. David had a one-night stand with Bathsheba, and it wrecked his life. By just one act of anger and disobedience, Moses disqualified himself from entering the Promised Land. Noah and Lot could tell you how just one drink of alcohol led them to do things they regretted for the rest of their lives. Just one bite of the forbidden fruit was all it took for Adam and Eve to be cast out of the Garden of Eden.

These weren’t bad people. Some of them even did great things for God. But each of them allowed themselves to lower their guard just once, and as a result, they sinned against God. The consequences of their sins affected many people.

“Just once won’t hurt” is a lie from the pit of Hell. If you choose to fall for it, you will waste your potential for Christ. You will reap the painful consequences of your sins. Even worse, others will reap what you have sown. I guarantee you “one-night stand decisions” aren’t worth the heartache they will cause you in the long run.

Whether it’s just one drink, just one smoke, just one click, just one lustful look, or just one resentful thought indulged, your besetting sin has the power to cripple you and others. What’s the best way to stay away from these sins? Keep your guard up by staying in the Word of God. Spend time in prayer and with other people who will keep you accountable. When you feel like you’re about to give in to temptation, ask God for strength. He wants to help you. Better yet, He will help you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder