We dropped by the shop this afternoon to check on a project that my dad has been working on. While we were there, the kids came out of the office to visit us in the back of the shop. In order to get to us, they had to walk past some panels that had been sprayed and were drying. The kids don’t come back in the shop often, but I am hyper-vigilant when they do, so as always I warned them to not get near the panels. I have visions of a domino effect should one of the kids bump one.
The response from my kids was not what I expected. I thought at that warning, my kids would take a large step away from the panels in order to be as far away from them as possible, but instead they took a tiny step. If they continued on their path they would be fine, but if they tripped or lost their balance they were still close enough to bump a panel. I reminded them to move further away and they did.
This evening I was reading the verse that came up when I opened my Bible app- Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:16 ESV.
I thought about my kids and how they knew they weren’t supposed to be near the panels, yet they chose to walk close enough they could touch. Technically they weren’t doing anything wrong. They weren’t touching the panels. They were paying attention to the line they shouldn’t cross, but they weren’t distancing themselves from it.
I think our approach to sin is often the same way, at least it is for me. I’ve been a Christian since I was a little kid. I know that I am completely saved by grace. With that in mind, I recognize that there are actions and attitudes that aren’t helpful, that are sinful. There are lines I shouldn’t cross (not because they wouldn’t be forgiven, but because they wouldn’t be Christ-like.) And yet, sometimes I toe the line. I see a sinful behavior or attitude and instead of giving it a wide berth, I stay just far enough away from it to not be sinning but close enough that if I lose my focus I could slip right in. In those moments, I’m not living as a servant of God.
Living as a servant of God is to be so enraptured with Him, to be so enamored by His truth, that when you look down you aren’t anywhere near the line. You are closer to Christ than you are to that line of sin.
I think that’s why as Christians we should have conviction about what we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, the hobbies we have, and the words we let slip from our mouths. Are we toeing the line of sin? Are we sinning? Maybe not. Maybe not yet. But are we being Christ-like? Are we living like we are free from sin?