Easily Entangled

It was just a small, blue thread.

One Sunday morning, as I was putting on my sport coat, I saw a small, blue thread extending in a loop from one of the buttons on the right sleeve. I made a mental note that I would need to deal with it later and continued getting ready for church.

That morning, I was playing the piano in our Riverway Service (11:15 AM in the Parish Life Center) and during the first song, my right arm happened to brush against one of the waist buttons of my jacket. Instantly, my sleeve was caught. For the rest of the song, I could only extend my right arm a few inches from my chest. It was like I was playing the piano with a T-Rex arm. Somehow, I made it through the song, and I cut the errant loop of thread that afternoon.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
Hebrews 12:1-2a, NIV

The author of Hebrews tells us that sin is looking to ensnare us. It is trying to hold us back — keeping us from following Jesus completely.

Like that thread on my sleeve just waiting to be caught on something, it’s easy for us to live our lives in a way that we get tangled up in sin. A counselor I know advises his clients to pay very careful attention when they are lonely, angry, sad, tired, bored or hungry. (You can remember these with the acronym LAST BH.) These times are when it is much easier to lapse into sin or embrace an addiction.

It’s good to take practical steps to avoid putting ourselves in these types of situations. Get enough rest. Find productive ways to occupy your mind. Exercise and eat healthily. So often, the physical affects the emotional and vice versa. (This is another way of saying that God made all of you — mind, soul and body.)

A runner doesn’t show up to a marathon without any preparation. It takes months or even years of training. In the same way, we should live our lives in such a way that we avoid temptation — those sins that easily entangle us. All the while, remembering that when we do fall short, we serve a God who forgives us when we repent and turn to Him.
Eric Priest
Lay Associate Pastor
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