Sin Always Ends Bigger Than It Begins

Our city has been in the news recently. On March 30, a fire was started under one of our major thoroughfares near some stored materials that happened to be flammable. That tiny first spark ended up causing the collapse of several north and southbound lanes. By God’s grace the fire proceeded slowly enough that people had time to get out of the way so there were no injuries or deaths. However, a section of interstate on which 250,000 people travel each day will take months to repair. In the meantime, commuters need to find alternate routes using local roads ill-fit for such volume.

Pictures like this are populating everywhere.

Part of Interstate 85 burns north of Atlanta, Ga. Thursday evening, March 30, 2017.
Part of Interstate 85 burns north of Atlanta, Ga. Thursday evening, March 30, 2017. (Fox 5 Atlanta)

Can you even believe being in one of those cars traveling by? There is a clip taken by one of those drivers in this VIDEO.

Three suspects have been arrested. One has been charged with first-degree arson, Basil Eleby. I am using his name because I am not going to shame him. You see, this whole event has me thinking about my own life much more than his.

My favorite picture of the event is this one. Take a good look.

Doesn’t look so bad, does it? The fire looks small and appears to be localized. Because I don’t detect any urgency in the body postures of the men in this photograph, I suspect they had no idea what this miniature blaze would eventually become.

Sin is like this photo. Sin always ends up bigger than it begins.

  • When Adam and Eve disobeyed God on one fruit-eating matter, they had no idea it would cause an inferno — all humans born would now be born into a broken relationship with a holy God. (Genesis 3)
  • When David invited Bathsheba for one night in his palace, he had no idea about the long-term effects on his family. (2 Samuel 11:4, 2 Samuel 12:1-12)
  • When Moses did not obey God that one time, he had no idea it meant he would not enter the promised land. (Number 20:7-12, Deuteronomy 34:4)
  • When Lot’s wife turned back once after being told not to, she had no idea she would become a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:17, 26)

Let’s move away from Bible characters and shine the light on ourselves now…

  • One sentence of slander at first seems small, but then ruins a person’s reputation.
  • One night of “playing around seems small,” but then ruins a marriage
  • One angry sentence after another destroys a family home.
  • One stray sentence about someone’s body or weight lands in all the wrong places within a young girl. It festers and morphs into an eating disorder.

I have been thinking about how I stand on level ground at the foot of the cross alongside every other person on the globe, including Basil Eleby. I too have chosen to light small fires of sin in shadowy portions of my life where I store flammable debris that few people know about. I too have watched spur-of-the-moment decisions ignite into black-smoke blazes that collapse a major portion of my life and cause long periods of inconvenience for people who know me. I have made snap decisions like Basil did that ended up requiring the resources and labor of others to repair the damage I caused.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

So every time I am inconvenienced by the shutdown of this major thoroughfare that cuts through the center of the city in which I live, I hope to keep meditating on how well the major artery of my life is faring — my relationship with God.

Am I continuing to construct my life in obedience to God, or am I threatening collapse through disobedience?

Picture Explanation: It’s spring break for two nearby counties this week so the full brunt of what this collapse is going to do to traffic is yet to be determined. Meanwhile, spring break had some highlights for us. My son and daughter went to a soccer game and I got to try out some bagpipes HERE.

© 2017 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

4 Responses

  1. Good job on the bagpipes!!! 😄😄😄 such a great illustration of the fire that caused the fwy to collapse and the sin in our lives. Lord, help me to be aware and concerned enough about my own sin and the damage it causes! Thank you for that illustration, Laurie!

    1. Yes, those bagpipes were an adventure. I want to try again though after learning how they work. I had never understood before.

      As for the illustration in the post, God and I had a “moment” after I finished writing it. You see, it’s not an analogy. I really stand with the man charged, having done the same thing to my life as he ended up doing to the city. There is no great distance between me and any other human being on the globe at the foot of the cross. God has done that work in my heart over the years. This post is evidence of that change. It’s real.

  2. Whew. This is so sobering. How my secret sins cause catastrophic problems for so many others… God have mercy! Help me to obey…

    1. Sobering, yes, but Easter is this weekend. He set us free by extending forgiveness and then uses the very mess to show Himself strong.

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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