Feel the Burn

I’m just gonna throw this out there. I’m pale. Like, I could be an extra in Twilight kind of pale. I’m a dermatologist’s dream, kind of pale. So my decision to not wear sunscreen for “just a little bit” yesterday at the ball park was probably not my smartest move, as evidenced by the fantastic shade of red on my arms. And the sad thing is, it won’t even fade to tan. I’ll hurt for a few days, my skin will peel, and I’ll be right back to where I started. Fun right? And still, I chose to ditch the sunscreen, despite Baz Luhrman’s pleas.

I’m not trying to be hyper-spiritual or anything, but I feel like I shouldn’t waste this opportunity for a lesson. 1. Wear the dang sunscreen. 2. Don’t let even just a little bit of sin in when you have the means to avoid it altogether. I wasn’t unprepared. Dumases travel with a minimum of two cans of SPF 50 at all times. My husband offered me the can and I turned it down. He shook his head, predicting my fate. He offered me the lifeboat and I let it sail away.

When we follow Jesus, we are called to leave our sinful ways behind. To let sin in, knowing its consequences, is never a smart choice. In the end, we end up getting burned. James 4:17 says, “So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it”. I knew the good- put on sunscreen- and I did not do it, and now I’m suffering the consequences.

If you struggle with drinking, going to a bar is not the outing for you. If you struggle with overeating, a buffet may not be your restaurant of choice. If you look like Snow White, lather up.

The often misquoted 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us, “ No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it.” God will provide a way out of sin. We have the opportunity to say no or to avoid sin altogether. Choosing to sin is not due to a lack of other options. I tell our youth group all the time not to get in a situation that will lead to bad decisions. If your parents aren’t home, that isn’t an ideal time for your girlfriend to come over. If your friends are drinking, go home.  You can always say no, but it’s harder in certain scenarios than others. It’s also harder if you’ve sinned and gotten away with it before.

Just last weekend, I did the same thing, and it worked in my favor. I didn’t get burned–no harm, no foul. So I tempted fate again and lost. Just because you don’t get caught the first time doesn’t mean God approves of your behavior. It just means you didn’t get caught–this time. It all catches up with you in the end, and God knows it all anyway.

So I’m hoping my somewhat lighthearted lesson sinks in a little bit. If nothing else, maybe I saved your skin from a few coats of aloe. Following Jesus doesn’t mean you have less fun or live a boring life. It means you find fulfillment in Him, rather than in earthly items or pastimes. I will not find joy in my skin tone, no matter how golden I do or do not get. I will find joy in taking care of the body He’s given me and the continued good reports from my dermatologist. I won’t find joy in being jealous of my friends’ paychecks, but I will find joy in the work that I do and the abundance He’s provided to me. And the awesome thing is, He’s provided everything I need to find contentment and to ditch sinful behaviors.

Side note: It’s a miserably rainy 48 degrees today with no sun in sight. Because, Louisiana.



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