Gary Richmond is a zoo keeper and author of A View From the Zoo. He told a story in the book about his friend name Julia who had a pet baby raccoon. Gary knew animals, so he explained to Julia that raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months that causes them to be vicious when they had not been vicious before. It was important that Julia know that because a thirty pound raccoon is like a hundred pound dog in a scrap. The animal could cause he physical harm. Gary said he would never forget Julia’s answer. "It will be different with me," she said. "Bandit would not hurt me." Three months later, Julia was having facial reconstructive surgery to cover the laceration made by Bandit when he attacked her for no apparent reason.
There are times when we are appalled at the ugliness of sin. I guess that one of the most graphic ugly pictures of sin, in my eyes, and the eyes of many others, is the gay pride marches or Mardi Gras celebrations that are shown on the news. If sin were always so ugly, we might not sin nearly as much. But sin does not always come in ugly packages. Sometimes, in fact most times, temptation comes in very pretty packages.
That was even true of the temptations that Satan brought to Jesus in the desert. Remember, Jesus had not eaten for forty days and Satan said turn this rock into bread. Jesus was going to suffer and die to establish his Kingdom, the church. Satan offered him the kingdoms if he would only bow down. Jesus was just beginning his ministry, what a wonderful presentation it would be to cast himself offthe temple to let the angels catch him. Temptation was not ugly. John wrote in 1 John 2:16 of "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life."
What happens so often is that people say the same thing about these pretty temptations that Julia said about Bandit. That won’t happen to me. But it does happen.
Now, I’ve got to be honest with you. Cuddling up to sin, treating it as if it is a pet that would never hurt you, does not always end in tragedy in this life. Sometimes people sin willingly, continually, and never seem to face any earthly consequences for their actions. I would guess that Satan works hard to see that they don’t face consequences. He wants to keep them involved in their sinful activity. But, many do have to endure in this lifetime, the consequences of sin. And those consequences are often horrible. Death, disease, broken relationships, unbearable emotional strain, just to name a few.
I can tell you, however, that willingly continuing to sin will, without a doubt bring horrible eternal consequences to you. You cannot escape God’s judgment and all of us will have to give an account for the things that we have done (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
So, what should we do? Remember these verses the lessons from 2 Corinthians 11:14 and 1 Thessaloians 5:22: Satan can be transformed into an angel of light if it means fooling you and we should avoid every kind of evil That inlculdes the pretty kinds. They, too will hurt you. That’s Life at Work!