“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1: 15)
In this verse James gives us what we might call the anatomy of a sin. One day more than twenty years ago, my wife had to be gone for six or seven hours. As I watched sports television in the evening, every thirty minutes or so there was an advertisement promoting pizza. I truly love pizza but I’m not supposed to have it because I am a diabetic. Each time the commercial was shown I developed a stronger desire for that pizza.
I had a telephone and some money, so eventually I called and ordered a pizza. I told them I was in a wheelchair so please walk in. When the delivery man arrived, I told him to place the pizza on the blanket in my lap and take the box with him (to leave no evidence.) When my wife returned, however, as she picked up the blanket to fold it a small pizza crust dropped to the floor. The consequences were disastrous!
According to James sin involves a lure, a look, a strong desire, and eventually temptation – then sin and death, which means “the pits.” It is as if the lure is a piece of metal and our strong desire is a powerful magnet. If we don’t do something to break up that magnetic field between our desire and that lure, we will sin. I didn’t do that, so the pizza landed in my lap.
James shared this with us so we would understand the importance of breaking up that magnetic sequence of sin. Are you willing to do that?