Monday, January 18, 2016

Harmless Sin?

For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13b-15 NIV 
The spider looked innocent enough, just like all the others I’d allowed inside my home, until it jumped on my husband’s arm and bit him.
I laughingly refer to my approach toward spiders as my amnesty program. As long as the spiders behave, they can come inside unharmed. My goodwill doesn’t extend to deadly spiders like black widows or brown recluses. However, at that point, my husband didn’t see the humor in being bitten by a harmless spider or my amnesty program.
The previous autumn, I’d allowed a rather large spider to come under the door every night and run around. By morning he’d be gone. Each night, this repeated itself until the spider climbed over the couch and landed on my husband’s lap while he watched television. He wasn’t amused by this episode either. 
I began to see the parallels between allowing the spiders free run of my home and sin. The spiders spin their webs. I sweep them down and within a week, they’re back. I justify it by not allowing in deadly spiders. What harm can come of that?
The Bible instructs us to flee from sin, yet we allow it to creep into our lives and then routinely sweep out the debris without fully eradicating the sin. We comfort ourselves with the knowledge that we don’t commit deadly sins like murder or stealing, but the end result is the same. When we least expect it, the regular garden-variety sin has bitten us and left a mark on our lives.
What sin are you struggling to rid your life of today? Perhaps it’s a small sin you routinely wrestle with, and it’s dragging you down because you won’t get rid of it once and for all. Ask God to help you identify the areas of your life that need cleaning up.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage that helps you stay focused when temptation comes? I'd love to hear it. 

Laura Hodges Poole blogs regularly at  "A Word of Encouragement." Her devotional, "While I'm Waiting," and her latest Christmas novella, "Silent Stars of Bethlehem," are available on Amazon.

© Laura Hodges Poole

“Spider’s Web” image courtesy of Tina Phillips/


  1. I have no problems with daddy long leg spiders, but that's as far as I'll go when it comes to allowing them in my house. Great analogy. I'm dealing with disappointment and anger right now. My go-to verse is Matthew 7:12 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.....Keeps me in check.

    1. I loved daddy longleg spiders when I was a kid. I played with them. Matthew 7:12 is a beautiful verse. Anger itself is not sinful. After all, Jesus showed anger more than once. It's what we choose to do with it that hurts. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Enjoyed hearing from you! :)

  2. Thank you for this post. My mind is turning as I wonder how I can turn this into a children's lesson. I love the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". NIV
    When I am tempted, I remember just how much He loves me!

    1. I love that verse, Connie. I often refer to it when life feels like it's out of control. Feel free to use the post for your children's lesson. It probably would be a simple enough analogy for them to grasp. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. God bless.