Like a Band-Aid

    Patience is a virtue and slower is usually more steady. But sometimes, the worst thing you can do is go slow. I learned that the hard way.
    I used to ride my bike everywhere. It was my mode of transportation. I always had a banana seat stingray bike, fashioned after Schwinn’s famed “Apple Crate,” though always a cheaper version.
    I also loved watching motocross on TV and the motorcycle stunts and jumps they used to show on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. My favorite was Evil Knievel. I dreamed of doing jumps like his.
    During spring break one year (I was 7 or 8), I spent the week at my Uncle Ralph’s farm. I brought my bike but found that there were not too many places to ride it. But I did see what appeared to be a perfect bike jump. It was a concrete retaining wall, about four feet high, that held up a slope on one side of the barn.
    I thought that would be the perfect spot for me to learn how to jump my bike. But I had never done anything like it, I’d only seen it done with motorcycles on TV. So for my first attempt, I figured I’d better take it slow. I didn’t want to get hurt!
    You can imagine what happened as I slowly approached that four foot drop-off and my front wheel went down. As soon as I started to go over I thought, “How stupid, you have to do this fast!” I felt so foolish in the middle of the fall that I started laughing while I was going over…I just felt so stupid.
    My uncle caught what I had done out of the corner of his eye, and seeing me laughing, he must’ve thought I was self-sadistic or something, and he ran over to see if I was ok, then yelled at me and took my bike away. He asked, “Did you do that on purpose?” Well, yes, but I didn’t intend for that result!
    That wasn’t my last bike jump, but it was the last one I did slowly. There are some things that are best done quickly, jumping a bike, removing a band-aid, getting used to cold water. Sometimes it’s just better to go after it and do it fast.
    That’s how the Bible tells us to deal with sin. Lingering around temptation never works. Trying to slowly back off a habit leads to stronger addiction. Dealing with sin in our lives has to be like a band-aid. There’s a little pain initially, but removing the temptation quickly and replacing the activity immediately is the only way.
    If you are having sex with your girlfriend, you’ve got to stop altogether, cold turkey. You might even need to break off the relationship for a while (after all, you started on the wrong foot anyway). If you are living together and not married, you’ve got to move out. If you’ve been getting drunk, you’ve got to stop drinking altogether. Been getting high? Change your hang-outs and the people you are hanging with. Gossiping? Probably need to change your friends. It’s what we call in the Biblical counseling world, “radical amputation,” a concept we get from Jesus. That’s what he was talking about when he said, “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off…” (Matthew 18:8 ESV).
    Yes, sometimes it’s better to go slow. But sometimes it’s not. When it comes to habitual sin, there’s too much at stake. Make the change, and do it right away!

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