By: Kristen L. McNulty
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I don't know about you, but I am prone to sunburns. I have sensitive skin that is extremely white and all of this means that during the summer, I have to apply lots of sunscreen unless I want to look like a lobster.
Well, last weekend the College and Career group I attend in Timmins held a car wash to raise money. I was outside washing cars for a good part of the day and when I arrived home I was surprised to see the reflection of Bob the Tomato when I looked in the mirror. To put it in light terms- my face was fried.
After seeing my reflection, my mind started racing. I put on my sunscreen, I wore a cap to shield the sun, how did this happen? I then realized that although I put on sunscreen, I was also working in the water and anyone who has done a car wash before knows that you don't stay dry. So while I thought I was protected, the more wet I got, the more sunscreen washed off and by the end of the day there was little, if any, left. So in my mind I thought I was safe from the suns rays, but in reality, it couldn't be further from the truth.
As I think back on this now, I can see a strong connection between my sunburn experience and our spiritual condition when it comes to sin.
You see, so often we think we're protected. We've put on our spiritual sun block, only to, in the end, get burned.
So why does this happen? Well, unfortunately we face an opponent who has been tripping people up for thousands of years. Satan knows all of the tricks in the book and he does not hesitate to use them.
So then how do you and I stand a chance at being victorious in this battle? Well, first of all, we must know where our weaknesses are. Knowing where we are susceptible to sin is the first step towards preventing yourself from falling.
Secondly, you must cover yourself with protection. If you know that you struggle with what's on late night TV, then don't watch TV after ten. If you know you struggle with gossiping, then don't hang around with people who fuel that fire.
Finally, know how much protection you need. Had I reapplied my sunscreen more often, I wouldn't look like I do now. Also, had I thought ahead and purchased waterproof sunscreen, I would have not had the same problem. But I didn't and now I'm paying the price.
In the same way, if you know that by spending a half hour in the word helps protect you before you go to school, then spend that half hour. If you know that reciting scripture while at work keeps your mind focused on the right things, then memorize and recite scripture.
Through our struggles and our stumbles, we all learn to know what our weaknesses are, what protection we need, and how much protection we need to apply. It won't be the same for everyone.
In closing, I'd like to encourage you with an amazing promise from the Bible:
1 Corinthians 10:13 says:
"But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."
This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.