Avoid the Pain Disguised as Pleasure

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

As a young boy growing up in Oklahoma City I had the opportunity once a year in the fall to go to the Oklahoma State Fair and it was a wonderful experience that to this day I can look back on and smile.

As that young boy made his way with friends to the Midway, the siren call of the games to be played sounded, “Come on over … everyone is a winner here!”  And we did only to discover that everyone was not a winner.  You see the games were fixed, the odds minimal to win one of the big prizes.

The fact is … they promised what they didn’t always deliver.  Oh once in a while, someone would win and hoist their prize before the eyes of others to see and perhaps even covet.

Like the promises of the Midway, sin promises what it cannot deliver!  There is no denying the pleasure or the enjoyment that can come with choosing to sin.  But what is not mentioned is the disappointment, heartache and the brevity of the pleasure or the enjoyment and the sheer pain of having made the wrong choice!

Ultimately, we discover what the prodigal son discovered and we wind up in the lowest of places and the only way out is to look up!  The hope to be found in all of this is that we don’t have to end up in these lowest of places or hear our Lord say on the Day of Judgment, “I don’t know you …” This is why Jesus came to die for us and to take away our sins!

We must learn to say NO to the things that will only temporarily satisfy … NO to the decisions that only serve to salve and stroke our egos.  We must learn to say YES to those thoughts … decisions … those things that will prove to strengthen our resolve and commitment to Jesus Christ.

In the endless struggle between right and wrong, it comes down to the place of our will or His will!  May all of us recognize the urgency of valuing what God says on every matter and seek to comply while respecting His silence to avoid the sin of presumption.

Your life and mine are actually just a strand of moments over whatever span of time we are blessed to live and we need to do all that we can with God’s help to piece together a strand of pearls and not the phony imitations of the Midway.  For you see … if we went for the imitation then the pain of realizing we were deceived will be revealed when it is too late!

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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