Avoiding Spiritual Banana Peels

Only four chapters in the Bible remain silent about sin and its dangers - the first two and the last two. Since Adam and Eve found themselves naked under the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin has been the lowest common denominator throughout the human race.

The apostle John spells this out clearly: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). The deadliest sin is assuming we have no sin. None of us is free from the possibility of committing evil. Until we enjoy fruit from the tree of life in glory someday, we must admit our vulnerability.

"If you're saying some sin could never get you," Dr. Howard Hendricks writes, "you're about to step on a spiritual banana peel."

You and I both know of Christian leaders and lay people who have "suddenly" fallen into sin. Everything seemed to be going well for them, but one left his wife for another woman, or one attempted suicide, or one became an alcoholic.

How does this happen? Dr. George Sweeting comments, "Collapse in the Christian life is rarely a blowout - it's usually a slow leak."

Our spiritual lives are punctured and in danger of collapse whenever we lose sight of who God is. To the degree that we do not know God, we sin. Sin is man's declaration of independence. The first step away from God is ceasing to appreciate who God is and failing to thank Him for His person and work in our lives.

Unthankfulness and other forms of disobedience - whether in deed, thought, or desire - produce certain results. When we sin the Holy Spirit is grieved, Satan gains a foothold, we lose our joy in Christ, we find ourselves separated from God and other people, we become stumbling blocks to weaker believers, and we cause untold sorrow and grief.

Take spiritual inventory in your own life. Consider: Who is God in my eyes? What is my relationship with Him like? How often do I give thanks to Him? Meditate on such passages as Psalm 34, Psalm 63:1-8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24. Determine ways to apply these passages to your own life.

What comes to mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. What comes from your lips throughout the day indicates whether or not you see and appreciate His sovereignty, His grace, and the other attributes of His deity.

Is the Lord speaking to your heart? How is your relationship with Him? Confess any known sins to God, and decide that by God's enabling you will live a life of holiness. Speak forth the praises of the Lord you love, and faithfully obey Him.

Collapse in the Christian life never needs to happen!