Sin can feel good for a time. Whether it be eating what we shouldn’t, gossiping or looking at stuff online, there can be a temporary thrill involved that obscures the true nature of the act. It can feel right for a short time, but since it is sin there are always consequences. Sin can taste sweet to our flesh for a season, but the Bible promises the wages of sin is death.
I was reminded of this truth when looking at the wreckage of the great ant invasion of 2017 my family experienced. I live in a very old house. It has lots of cracks and crevices that have opened over the 150 years it has stood. People call it character but the critters that like to come in from outside see it differently. The cracks are superhighways leading from their holes and nests into our pantry filled with yummy human food.
Our house gets invaded by mice, snakes, squirrels, spiders, and ants. They come into the house and cabinets and eat my food. There is nothing like a bowl of Raisin Bran that starts moving on you, right? The wife just loves this aspect of old house living.
With a toddler in the house, the problem has worsened. Particularly since baby girl decided that hiding her food in the radiator was a great new game with which to pass dinner time.
I should not have been surprised, then, to find her high chair covered with ants cashing in on the bounty of food in the area. It was the biggest ant invasion I have ever seen outside of shows about Australia. The high chair and the floor were dark there were so many ants coming in and lining up to eat.
Seeing as they declared war on my little girl and my home, it was time for me to battle these tiny invaders. Initially, it did not go very well. Trying to squish a million ants by hand is not a sound warfighting strategy. It only serves to get 800,000 ants crawling all over you as a result and cause you to run out of the room crying and screeching.
Hypothetically, of course, that totally wasn’t me. I was more doing a manly sobbing.
Thanks to internet research, I found a counter to the ant hordes. It involved a placing a mixture of Borax, sugar, and water on a plate in the area where the ants were coming in as a passive poison trap. It uses what the ants are attracted to against them. No need to stomp each one by hand, I just had to leave it out for them and wait as their inborn desire for sweetness lead them to ingest poison.
The ants are drawn to the sugar water like me to Little Debbie cakes. They don’t realize that it is a fatal attraction due to the Borax. They are ingesting and being covered by the Borax. Borax kills ants.
When the ants go back to the colony, in addition, their bodies are also covered in Borax. This wipes on other ants and gets fed to the colony. Borax gets on everything the ants get near. It becomes part of their everyday diet. The ants direct each other back to the plate to continue to the process and before you know it, the whole colony is slowly being covered with the agent that kills them. What was attractive and sweet for a short-term eventually destroys them.
I found the process fascinating and was constantly checking the progress. At one point the ants were so intent on getting to the sweetness of the sugar-water that they pushed each other into the water. There were dead ants all around the plate and the ants kept on pushing through.
It was like they were acting out before me the very clear effect and ultimately the consequences of sin in our lives.
Sin often seems awesome for a time. It can be shiny, tasty, attractive and sweet like the sugar-water. It tastes good initially to get us hooked. It uses its power to try to get us to ignore the warning of the Spirit prompting us to flee for our lives.
Yet, no matter how good it tastes, sinful behavior is always filled with poison. It is a trap meant to kill us. There is always Borax mixed in with the sugar.
Sin is never placed in our path for our good. It is there to destroy us by the one who wants us dead. He wants to steal from us, kill us and destroy us and destroy us.
We have a choice whether we want to keep on going past it or dive headlong into it. Once we taste the sin, it is hard to turn away….it is just so sweet. We often know it is filled with poison, but don’t want to turn away because it tastes so good.
Once we are in sin, completely hooked, it is like the Borax and the ants. We get sin on us and become so covered by it everyone around us is affected. We drag our sin into our homes, our jobs and add it to every part of our lives. We feed it to our families.
We may think we can sit at work in sin and just leave it there. That is not how sin works. The poison we allow in coats us to our very core. It becomes what we feed to our spouses and our children. We lead the ones we love into the very same trap that is killing us.
We even push them in if they get in the way of getting to our great and powerful idol – whatever sin we have chosen to serve.
Take a gander at the local bars late in the evening or the local methadone clinic. People are literally being killed by their sin and yet they will knock you down and trample you to get to their poison. The wages of sin is death.
Sin kills. Sin kills families. Sin kills communities. Just look at the ants.
The good news is that we are not ants, we can turn away at any time. Jesus died to give us that freedom. God always provides us a way to escape. We desperately need to understand the nature of what we are ingesting. It may seem sweet but it poison. Jesus can save us from it so turn to Him as Savior….and be Saved.