The time was around 5:00 p.m. as Jeremiah and Joseph walked out of the back door of the gymnasium from basketball practice, headed home. They took there normal route that they had walked hundreds of times previously. It was a bright sunny August day. The sun glistened off the pavement radiating the near 100-degree temperature underneath the soles of their new addidas sneakers.
Joseph bouncing his basketball looked over in a yard to see two dogs fighting, while the two of them exchanged small talk about the day’s practice session. Jeremiah starts on the varsity squad, but Joseph lost his starting position and now comes off the bench. Each was commenting to one another about how the coach should implement some new more innovative plays.
Now after they had walked about a mile (still a couple of miles from home) Joseph inquired of Jeremiah, “What is your Mom cooking for dinner tonight? Jeremiah replied, “Probably meatloaf, mash potatoes, and some sort of vegetable.” Joseph said, “Man that sounds great, I might come over and eat with you all.” Jeremiah said to Joseph, “Sure, but first, let's stop off at the Farmers Market so I can get one of the fresh baked cinnamon rolls they make every evening around this time.” “I can have that for my desert.”
Now the two boys finally got to the Farmer's Market and walked around for a while just goofing off. After about a half hour in the store, Jeremiah said, “I've got to get going man, I'm going to go and get that cinnamon roll now.”
When suddenly it happened, Jeremiah spotted the most beautiful and the finest girl (actually she was 24 years old) he had ever seen walking toward him. His heart began to race and his eyes became as large as a silver dollar. The girl was wearing short shorts and the top she had on was see through and exposed practically all of her 38D breast.
Well, Jeremiah quickly forgets what purpose he came to the store. His mind raced with lust for this girl. He never saw her before and was sure she did not go to their school. Joseph also thought the girl was hot, but he recalled a lesson in Sunday school that his Teacher gave him just the previous Sunday.
Joseph could not help the first look, but he avoided any further looks upon the girl’s body knowing that it would bring forth lust out of his heart. Joseph recalled in his mind the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, “He who looks upon a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Joseph also recalled the Proverb, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”
Joseph loved the Lord Jesus and hid a great amount of the Word of God in his heart. He also loved his friend Jeremiah (who was not a Christian) and he could see the lust build to volcanic status in his heart. Joseph warned Jeremiah by saying, “I've got a feeling in my spirit man that if you say anything to this girl you are going to regret it for a long time.” Jeremiah quickly responded, “Look man don't preach to me alright, I'm a big boy I know what I am doing here, there is no harm in having a little fun, you need to live a little.” Joseph said to Jeremiah, “Man do you see how this girl is dressed?” “She looks like a prostitute.” “I'm telling you for the last time and for your own good, have nothing to do with this girl.”
Well, needless to say Jeremiah did not listen to his friend and he talked to the girl (her name was Constance), got her phone number and they began dating. At first things seemed to go smoothed (of course they had sex often), but after about 6 months she stopped returning his phone calls and she moved from the Apartment she was living in and Jeremiah was beside himself with grief. He had fallen in love with this girl, but apparently she did not have the same feelings for him. Furthermore, she was not a girl; she was 24 years old with her own Apartment.
Jeremiah went to his friend Joseph to talk about the situation. Joseph told him he should be happy it ended this way with no bad consequences and that he should count himself blessed. Joseph told him that God was giving him a second chance now to turn from his heathen lifestyle and to give his life to Christ. Well, Jeremiah being as grief stricken as he was chided Joseph for the words he spoke to him (he wanted no part of letting her go) and set out to find Constance.
Jeremiah's performance on the basketball team suffered as well as his schoolwork. He began to fall behind in his studies and was in jeopardy of failing a couple of classes. Despite these bad circumstances because of Constance, he could not get her out of his mind. His heart burned in anticipation of finding her.
Then one day unexpectedly a letter came to Jeremiah's mailbox with Constance’s name on it and no return address. She told him that she never loved him and only used him for sex while her husband (stationed overseas) was away. She said, “Jeremiah you are an alright kid, but that’s all you are, I'm a woman and we could never be anything else but what we were.” She went on to say some more cruel and insensitive things in her letter to him and closed it by saying, “Don't ever try and find me, I am ashamed of that period in my life and I want never to see you again.”
After hearing these words, Jeremiah became enraged and was even more determined to find her to tell her face to face what he thought of the horrible way she treated him. It is now a year later and Jeremiah is a Senior in High School and just turned 18. Now what began as lust and turned into what he thought was love now engulfed his heart with hate, rage, and revenge. Jeremiah tirelessly searches for Constance until he has a breakthrough; he finds that she has now moved 2,000 miles from his home.
Jeremiah saves his money and travels to where he thinks she lives. He goes to the streets of that city and purchases a gun with the sole purpose of avenging his broken heart and shattered dreams. He disguises himself and rings the doorbell of the home that Constance now lives in, she answers the door and without so much as one word, Jeremiah pulls the trigger and fills Constance with four bullets. He runs from the scene the adrenaline rushing as his heart races and he then pulls the trigger and takes his own life. Sadly, Jeremiah becomes another victim of Paralyzing Sin.
Proverbs 5:3-5 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lay hold of Hell. (NKJV)
Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. (NKJV)
Many times when we are out in this world doing business or taking care of some of our personal needs like food, shelter, clothing, etc., we will come across a man or woman or perhaps a child that has been stricken with paralysis. It may have occurred through a tragic accident or some birth defect. Many of us will look at these people with extreme sadness and wish we could do something to reverse their condition. How unfortunate it is when a person’s life has been altered to such an extreme degree.
The world we now occupy is full of people with a handicap far greater than any physical paralysis. It is the handicap of Sin. The handicap of Sin is often time not even looked upon as just that, a handicap. Despite the years of people trying to set Sin aside or give a new label that makes it appear less damaging or threatening to all people, I want to remind you that the most paralyzing force on planet earth yesterday, today, and in the future is Sin.
Faith is the only key that works to access the Lord Jesus Christ and in doing so His grace can heal any Paralyzing Sin in our hearts. Remember when the Lord told the Jews who believed on Him that they must continue in His Word to be counted as a learner of His. He also said that all who committed Sin would be a slave to Sin.
Let us think about a slave for just one moment, a slave has no rights, a slave cannot decide his own will, and a slave must obey his master. Now these are facts and this is what makes our Sin so paralyzing to us. Paul deals with this matter in detail, by telling us that where Sin increases the Grace of Christ increases much more. Grace is the answer for any Sin. Again what paralyzes men in Sin is the absence of Grace. Paul is telling us that the pull of Sin is very strong, but the Grace of Christ is exceedingly stronger.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)