Stay off sin’s slippery slope

“Closed for the Winter,” the sign said, but it was too late. The road was sloping down the hill, and just beneath the coating of snow were two inches of ice. I braked so my wife and I could turn around, but we just slid farther and farther down the hill. I put the gear-shift in park; we were still sliding. I took it out of park and steered, riding the brake, hoping we could make it to the bottom of the hill without sliding off the road.

James 1:13-15's description of the process of sin is like a slippery slope. Our own desire unites with temptation, conceiving lust. Lust gives birth to sin. That sin starts to grow, ending in death.

The icy road has a warning sign at the very beginning, and at various stages along the way. “Treacherous Road.” “Danger!” “Turn back now!” “Sharp curve ahead!” Those who heed the warnings are still alive. Those who don’t are headed for hell.

We didn’t know it, but waiting ahead of us, halfway down the hill, was a big turn to the left. I could feel the truck gaining momentum as the slope became sharper. It was too late. There was nothing we could do but hold on and try to ride it out.

In Romans 6 Paul warns that if we yield our body to sin, the result will be ever-increasing wickedness until finally, we slam into death. But he says that this “slip-sliding away” is not inevitable. Christ redeemed us! Our union with His death and resurrection sets us free from slavery to sin. “Sin shall not be your master,” he promises, “because you are not under law but under grace!” We can get onto a different road altogether, a road that is going up, not down. “Yield the members of your body to righteousness,” Paul tells us, “leading to holiness, and ending in eternal life.”

What happened at the big turn? We fish-tailed, but didn’t go off the road, finally sliding to a stop. It was scary. I promised myself and my wife we would never get on such a road again.

Take my advice: Stay off the slippery slope of sin. The so-called thrill isn’t worth the risk.

—Steve Singleton