This following statement may come as a surprise to many of you. Sin has a best friend! Its name is Repetitive Compromise. The two of them together may a great team. They feed off each other, and they invite each other into situations over and over and over again. Like I said, they are best friends.
We can all probably agree on what sin is, but let’s look at its dear friend Repetitive Compromise for a bit. For illustrative purposes, let us consider Gary for a minute. Gary is an Executive with a fairly large company. He’s married, and has two beautiful children. He travels often from city to city attending meetings, and more often than not, he travels alone. When the meetings are over, and dinner functions have ended, he tends to stop at the bar in the hotel lobby for a drink while he reviews the agenda for the next day’s meeting. Now, is there a problem with having a drink in the bar at a hotel lobby? For some people, yes! Most of you know who you are……
Now, back to Gary.
So, with the bar pretty much empty, he selects the seat closest to the petite blonde with the empty martini glass. Strike One. Gary orders a Cabernet, and politely asks the young Lady if he can buy her a drink. Strike two. They talk for what seems like hours, and Gary continually vents about his struggles in his marriage and how lonely it feels when he is on the road. Strike Three. He then lends his ear to the problems leading up to her recent divorce and how lonely she gets as well. Strike Four. As the bartender politely asks for them to cash out so he can end his shift, Gary suggests that they walk across the street to the Piano Bar with the bright neon sign, so they can continue their “great” conversation. Strike Five. Are you readers getting it yet? How many more strikes before Gary is out!!! Anyone on the outside can see exactly where this is going except Gary.
Looking back, one person that would probably have loved to grab Gary by the arm and pull him out of this impending danger is David. You remember, the guy who beat down Goliath.. He too fell victim to repetitive compromise at one point in his life. We see in the book of Samuel when David arose from a nap on his couch, stood on his rooftop and watched Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop. Now, he too did not just stop at a glance. He continued to look and eventually had one of his servants bring her to the house. We know what happened next, but had he stopped with just a glance, he probably would have been ok.
The problem with repetitive compromise is that it disguises itself. It disguises itself as a glance, a harmless conversation, sometimes as an innocent working “relationship.” It also provides increasing amounts of comfort, like a leather couch. The more you stay on it, the harder it is to get away….Then we, gradually (or sometimes rapidly) let it evolve into sin whether in mind or in action. We need to understand what lies within us and stay on guard. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."(Matthew 26:41) We are sinful in nature and away from Christ we can do no good thing!!! What lies within us is the potential to trip ourselves up without even realizing it.
There is nothing wrong with looking at a pretty woman as she walks towards you. But when she passes you, there need not be a glance backwards gentleman! J. Wilbur Chapman, an American Evangelist who died in 1918 put it best: “Temptation is the tempter looking through the keyhole into the room where you are living; Sin is your drawing back the bolt and making it possible for him to enter.” How often do we as men knowingly reach down and open the door to let temptation evolve into sin!
Looking back, I laugh at the times where admittedly I prayed for God to guard my heart during my travels, yet then had chosen that same seat in the bar. Why did I even put myself into that situation, and why was it so hard to leave. Thomas Seeker said: “To pray against temptation, and yet to rush into occasion, is to thrust your fingers into the fire, and then pray they might not be burnt.” Remember also that the Lord promises….“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1CO 10:13) To keep yourself from getting burned by the best friend of Sin known as Repetitive Compromise, DON’T draw back the bolt and simply DO look away from the keyhole, and DO take the escape that God so mercifully provides…. That is the Key!