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Just This Once

As a boy, I used to ride a go-cart that was steered with a rope. On one occasion, as I propelled my way down the driveway, my parents’ warning came to mind: “Always look up and down the street for cars.” But I rationalized: It’s okay not to do that just this once. Then I heard the sound of screeching tires as a car came to an abrupt stop to avoid hitting me. Thinking I could break my parents’ rule nearly cost me my life.

The Bible has many examples of those who knew better but who chose to break God’s rules. From boyhood, David had meditated on the law of God while he tended his sheep. He knew that the seventh commandment condemned adultery, yet when he saw a beautiful woman bathing he used his royal power to take the wife of Uriah for his own. This sin resulted in terrible consequences (2 Sam. 11–12).

The psalmist wrote: “Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins” (Ps. 19:13). Have you felt tempted to do something “just this once” even though you knew it was wrong? Glancing at Internet pornography, “borrowing” money from an account at work, or stretching the truth may each seem like an isolated activity but can lead to terrible consequences. With God’s help, turn from sin and find His way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

Prone to wander—Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above. —Robinson
Temptations will knock at your door; don’t ask them to stay for dinner!