Lesson 11, Digging Deeper 1
In Progress

Stay Away by Austin Swinea

Some people love the thrill they experience from watching horror movies. These scary movies have moments that make you jump out of your seat. Most of these movies seem to involve an innocent family that moves to a new home in a new town. The home that they thought they loved soon turns out to be a nightmare because of the ghosts and goblins that live inside. The movie then spends a couple hours making you jump as the family rounds every corner to see the next scary sight.

In just about every situation that these movies present, there are often cues to warn the characters of the dangers that lie ahead. Most of the time, these signs or hints are ignored and trouble begins. Life is very much the same way. If we are observant and watchful, we can judge the situation to see whether this is something we should be a part of or not. Signs like, “Beware of Dog” or “No Trespassing; Stay Away” are not put up just to make you afraid. They are there for a reason. If you enter the fence, you will be bitten. If you go onto the property, you can be injured by unsafe conditions.

The Bible is full of instructions that a Christian should take very seriously. The Bible is not just a strict rule book prohibiting you from doing certain things. It is a guide book to keep you safe from the traps and pitfalls that the devil tries to catch you in. How can a child of God learn what they need to stay away from? What does it mean to stay away?

Staying Away Involves Good Decision Making

As you watch a scary movie, have you ever noticed how many poor decisions are made? Instead of leaving the home for a hotel, the family spends the night anyways. Rather than exploring the attic in the daytime, the family goes exploring at midnight. Rather than running away down a major roadway in search of help, the family runs through the cemetery in the fog. Scary movies thrive on poor decision making! I wonder how quickly these movies would end if the family made good decisions from the beginning of the film…

As we think about our spiritual life, how much heartbreak, fear, and pain could be avoided if we just made good decisions? Paul reminds the Thessalonian church to “Test everything; hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thess. 5:21-22) Imagine who much better our life would be if we would heed these instructions and make good decisions!

Staying Away Is A Life Long Process

Parents often times don’t allow their children to do certain things or go certain places. At times, this can seem so frustrating. Others are doing it, why can’t I? As we grow and mature, we start making more decisions for ourselves and become more independent. With this growth often times comes more independence. We might feel that there are things we can do now just because we are older, but this is not the case.

Sin is sin. It is just as dangerous to a 15-year-old as it is to a 75-year-old. Satan has his various tricks that he uses to try and trap people of all ages. Romans 3:23 reminds us that everyone has sinned and fallen short of what God wants them to be. While there are some things that we are not allowed to do because of our age, sin is not one of those. Sin is not, and never will be, something that we can do. We never mature into an age where it is acceptable.

God Forgives When I Fail To Stay Away

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God understands that we are imperfect people. He knows that we will make mistakes from time to time. When we fail to stay away from sin, God does not love us any less. He simply wants us to admit our wrong and ask for forgiveness. God gives our forgiveness to anyone who is willing to repent and ask for it.

Maybe you have made some terrible mistakes in your past. You may feel very guilty and embarrassed to even think about them. But realize God still loves you. Even though you didn’t stay away from sin in your past, you can start doing it today!