Way Too Close

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Can you identify weaknesses in your life? What step will you take today to remain far away from temptation?

I was too close. When I pulled into the driveway and angled the car toward the garage, I had a feeling I’d need to back up, and straighten the car to fit into the space for my vehicle. I looked again, and thought to myself, ‘No, I think I can make it…” As I put the car in gear and inched forward, the scraping sound confirmed my original fears. I WAS too close. I should have gone with my initial instincts…but it was too late now.

I put the car in park and got out to survey the damage. Sure enough, I had hit the trim that frames the garage door opening. The headlight washer on the passenger side had broken off, and a five-inch piece of the garage door trim had splintered as a result of my ingenious behavior. Oh, how I wish I could press the rewind button and be graced with a do-over! Instead, I need to be thankful the damage wasn’t worse, and learn from my mistake.

There’s a life lesson embedded in my unfortunate mishap. Sometimes, I’m convinced I can handle certain things, when in reality – I cannot. I’m reminded of Solomon’s words of wisdom, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life,” (Proverbs 4:23; KJV).

When I’m faced with life’s temptations, they beckon me to come closer. I pause and think to myself, “What’s the harm in just taking a closer look?” I forget that my heart is often deceived and my human nature tends to justify its desires (Jeremiah 17:9). As I step closer, I convince myself that I’ll be fine, forgetting that I’m exposing a very vulnerable part of myself – my heart.

The enemy of my heart knows what he’s doing. He tempts me to get close enough for him to strike. He wants me to fall into his trap. It’s my job to stay alert and watchful. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walkethabout, seeking whom he may devour,” (1 Peter 5:8). He preys on my weaknesses, seeking to make me ineffective for Christ.

Being aware of what tempts me is important. Preparing myself to stay at a safe distance when temptation arrives is even more crucial. I don’t remember the first time I heard the expression, “It’s better to be safe, than sorry,” but applying this principle to my life goes a long way toward protecting my vulnerable heart from temptation.

Yes, my close encounter with the garage door could have been avoided. Did I learn something? You bet! The next time temptation flags me down, I’ll think twice before taking a closer look. With the Lord’s help, I can stay far away from things that appear harmless, but in reality are meant to destroy.

Can you identify weaknesses in your life? Those areas where you’re easily tempted? What step will you take today to remain far away from temptation?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for continuing to teach me valuable life lessons. Help me be alert and watchful when it comes to the devil’s schemes. I know he seeks to destroy me, but You give me the tools to stand. Help me apply Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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