Hot Dogs and Sin Have More in Common Than You Think


Sin offers momentary pleasure, but at its core, it's disgusting. Owning up to the truth about sin is the first step toward losing your appetite for it.

So, I was downing a hot dog for lunch recently (ketchup, mustard, no relish, pickle on the side), and I realized a deep spiritual truth: Sin is a lot like a hot dog.

How so? I'm glad that you asked.

We all know that hot dogs are garbage, right? We joke that they are made of mystery meat. In fact, I Googled, "What's in a hot dog?" for journalistic integrity. (For the sake of your stomach, don't follow my lead, but know that I can call hot dogs garbage with a clear conscience.) Not only are they made of less than stellar ingredients, they offer very little in the way of nutrition. No vitamins. No minerals. Just a lot of fat and salt with a smidge of protein. We all know this to be true. We aren't surprised by the fact that hot dogs have nothing good to offer, and yet we scarf them down anyway. In fact, Americans consume 9 billion hot dogs a year.

So what do hot dogs have in common with sin? Sometimes we choose to sin like we are choosing to eat a hot dog. We know we shouldn't do it. We know the sin won't offer us anything in the form of spiritual "nutrition." We've been warned that sin is bad for us, and yet we take a bite for a fleeting moment of pleasure, control, or self-absorption.

I was counseling a girl recently who was contemplating losing her virginity. I tried and tried to convince her to make a different choice, but she didn't see the point. She said, "Everyone I know is having sex, and they all seem to be fine. I just don't see how choosing not to wait can be as bad for me as you say it will be."

In that girl's life, sin had become just like a hot dog. She knew she shouldn't forfeit her commitment to purity. She understood what God's Word said about saving sex for marriage. But she wanted to nibble at sin for a moment of pleasure. I want her (and you) to realize that when we make the choice to sin, the benefits are gone quicker than it takes a hot dog to be digested. And then...the pain sets in.

Hebrews 11:25 calls the pleasures of sin "fleeting." Isaiah 57:20–21 promises that sin will not make life easier, but instead will cause turmoil. Galatians 6:7–8 warns us that sin is not harmless; it will always catch up to us.

If I could wave a magic wand and grant one wish for you, it would be that you would lose your appetite for sin. I want you to know that God promises that sin can never satisfy and to choose to believe that truth when the opportunity to sin presents itself. I'm not pointing the finger here. I willingly choose to sin, too. There are plenty of moments every day when I have the opportunity to pass on attitudes or behaviors that aren't holy, but instead gobble up the sin even if I have to slather it with lame excuses or justifications.

Can we work together on this one? Can we call sin out for what it is—disgusting—and encourage each other to turn away from sin more and more? My desire for each of us is that our hunger for God would grow more and more as we cut back on our cravings for sin. What ideas do you have for encouraging others to feast on God more and settle for sin less?

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