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Don't Scratch that Itch!

Summer means many wonderful things, such as flowers and beaches and butterflies ... unfortunately, it also means mosquitoes. If you are like me, you frequently sport one or more bites from the annoying little buggers. But here’s an odd thing that happens: sometimes, it’s not the welt itself that itches. Instead, I feel the itch a few inches away from the pink swelling. I figure, “Well, it’s not the bite that is itching, so I can scratch. I just don’t want to scratch the bite itself.”

I scratch. And that darn itch moves a bit closer to the bite zone!

But it’s still not actually the welt itself that is itching, so I scratch again.

You guessed it – the itch moves again. And soon enough, I am scratching the mosquito bite and making things worse for myself.

Yep, we can get a spiritual application out of this! Because the fact is, the devil can deceive us – or we can deceive ourselves – in just the same way. We may be tempted to do something God has said “No” to. We know that doing it is wrong and will hurt us. But, well ... maybe we can do something close that will satisfy our urges without actually committing the sin. And we forget what happens when we scratch that phantom itch.

Just ask David what happened when he convinced himself it was okay “just to watch” Bathsheba soaping up. One murdered friend and one dead son later, and I’m sure David was wishing he had never scratched that itch at all.

Here are some of the many ways it might work today:

-- “I know pornography is wrong, but I’ll just flip through my wife’s Victoria Secret catalog.”

-- “I know adultery is wrong, but it must be harmless to fantasize about the heroes in my romance novels.”

-- “I know theft is wrong, but since I don’t agree with everything the government does, surely it’s okay to keep back some of the tax I owe.”

-- “I know murder is wrong, but I just can’t let go of my grudge.”

It’s time we stopped kidding ourselves. There is no “safe” sin. If you give in to the itch, you will regret it. Ravi Zaccharias put it this way: ““Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

Or take it right from the James 1:

“Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived...”

Don’t scratch that itch!

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