Today’s Scripture: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. James 1:14–16

After years of training, he thought he could control it. He thought wrong — dead wrong. A man had trained his pet boa constrictor to squeeze him and let go. As the years passed (and the snake grew even larger), he continued to practice this trick with his pet. Then one day, the boa constrictor squeezed and didn’t let go. It literally squeezed him to death. Had it disobeyed its owner’s orders? Yes, but what else could you expect? That’s part of its nature.

Sin works in much the same way. We may think we’re in control as we play with it; but the truth is, the longer we continue in sin, the tighter it wraps itself around us. We may not even realize that it is squeezing us to death. Once we do, merely saying we’re going to stop or even choosing to change our course will not be enough. Before long, it will claim our lives — that’s part of its nature.

What is the solution? Do not play with sin. Run away from it and do not look back. The wages of sin is death, period. That means it will kill you — and I’m not just talking about sins such as pornography, drinking, or drug abuse. Jealousy, envy, bitterness, unforgiveness, ungodly anger, gossip, slander, pride, a critical spirit, and dishonesty are also deadly sins which can ruin you in a hurry. It’s part of their nature. You may think you are in control; just remember you can’t untrain nature.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder