"And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it." - Genesis 4:7b
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." - 1 Timothy 6:10-11
I was outside having my quiet time this morning when I noticed a spider crawling on the table next to me. I am not an expert on insects, but I did recognize that this was a spider that could cause me harm. Since it was on the table next to me, and not on my chair, I tried to continue to focus on my devotional reading, which was focused on the meaning of salvation. However, I kept shifting my attention to that spider, keeping an eye on its movements. At one point, I thought I should get up and kill it, but decided to take the pacifist approach, telling myself that it was not near me and therefore not a danger. However, my eye kept drifting back to it. Finally, the spider fell of the table and crawled over to my chair. At that point, I finally got up and stepped on the spider.
When I sat back down, these two verses came to my head. Here I was, reading a devotion about the meaning of salvation and being set free from sin, and my eye continued to drift towards that which I perceived as a threat. However, I did nothing about it until the threat seemed close enough to hurt me. But what about the mere distraction of knowing it was there?
Perhaps that is the best way to understand Paul's call to flee from sin. It is not just to keep us from engaging in a sinful act, but to remove the distraction that sin can have when it is close enough to tempt us.