A few years ago I began a renovation project on my house after pinching pennies for years to save enough to get rid of skanky carpet and 1980’s kitchen decor. The plan was to install wood floors and new kitchen countertops. Easy enough, so I thought. The stone company offered such an incredible deal that I was also able to replace my bathroom countertops and stay in budget. Awesome! Switching out the bathroom countertops, however, resulted in having to paint the powder bath and install new faucets in both bathrooms since the counters came with free sinks. One thing led to another.
In the kitchen, the new countertops and backsplash didn’t match the wallpaper—it was hideous! So, here comes the paint. But first, the walls had to be texturized to match the rest of the walls. The men texturing didn’t protect the ceiling, which created splatter patterns all across it. So I had to repaint the ceiling. One thing leads to another.
I realized that my project, with its unexpected updates and expenses, emulated sin in that oftentimes one leads to another. We whisper to ourselves, “I’ll just tell this one little lie. Nobody will know and it won’t hurt anyone.” “I’ll just peruse this one porn site. It won’t really matter.” “I’ll just fudge a bit on my time sheet at work. My company has the money and I need a car repair.” From personal experience, I’ve discovered that “just” sins lead to repeat sins that lead to bigger sins that lead to bondage and entanglement.
I love how it’s summed up in the song Slow Fade*:
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade.
Bit by bit, sin erodes our freedom and we don’t notice the slight transitions until one day we’ve slipped past the point of who we wanted to be, the principles we wanted to embrace, and the character we wanted to personify. I’ve lived the consequences and costs of sin. Similar to the extra price of my renovation, morphing into deeper sin has penalty and expenses. It’s like the wicked witch enticing Hansel and Gretel to nibble on her house—one taste and they’re hooked and cooked.
Every check I wrote or gallon of paint I purchased helped remind me to stand firm against sin and pushed to the forefront of my mind that . . . one thing leads to another.
*Casting Crowns. Slow Fade, The Altar and the Door, Reunion Records, 2007.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/