Isn’t that the truth? The bible is crystal clear in this statement. “If sinners entice you, DO NOT CONSENT.” How many times have I told my children, “Make good choices?” How many times have I fallen to peer pressure? How many times (even as an adult) have I chosen what “everyone else does?” I could not even begin to tell you how many times I have chosen the path of sinners because they enticed me into their world. It seemed fun. It seemed like a way to make friends. It seemed like the path everyone was taking.
When we were at Disney a couple of weeks ago, we were watching a large group of people go the wrong way to a show. I knew their pathway was wrong. I have been to Disney multiple times in my life – I even worked there. But there were so many of them going in this direction that I almost turned my family around and followed. I didn’t because I knew they were going to end up right behind us in the correct line, so why was I enticed by their group? Well, because I didn’t want to be the one left behind. I didn’t want to be the one who did it “wrong.”
Life is like this. We follow the path that is most populated because everyone is doing it. I hear this comment from my kids all the time. “But Mom, everyone has that.” Usually they are right. Most people do have that cell phone by the 5th grade. I know that. They know that. Their friends know that. I just don’t think that a middle school kid can make good choices about a cell phone. I am happy to hand a cheap one over to them when there is a need for them to call me after a practice, but it isn’t for their personal use and it certainly isn’t “their” property. We are avoiding that populated road because I don’t think it is necessary for my kids to make tough choices about what to text and what not to text or who to call and who not to call.
The flip side of this Proverbs verse is that not only can my friends entice me into sins, but I can entice them into sin. I can make an off-the-cuff remark that can spark sin in no time. My words can lead others into sin just during a conversation. Have you ever had that happen? I can just be talking to someone about my day, but then we get all caught up in a discussion about someone else (who might or might not be a friend of ours). The next thing you know we are judging her choices, her parenting or her religion. How fair is that? Haven’t I just enticed my friend into the sin of gossip? You see how easy that is?
From The Message, James 3:1-2 “Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.”
Isn’t that the truth? If we all could control our mouths, we would be not only in control of our lip-service, but in control of our entire body?
My problem is I still cannot control my mouth. Most of my sins are derived from my lip-service. Watching what I say takes effort and practice. I try to pray before I talk, but things just spew out of my mouth so fast sometimes and I cannot take them back.
It seems easy to point out the sins that others have enticed me into, but it is difficult to see the sins that I have enticed others toward. Look at that Proverbs verse two fold. Remember that not only do your friends have the ability to point you in the wrong direction, but you have that ability too. The most populated road may not be the path you should head down. Look both directions. Take a chance that the underpopulated road may just be your best option. It’s okay, be daring, be unique. After all didn’t God make us all unique for a reason?