Too Close to the Jalapenos

Bill Brinkworth

A friend of mine graciously gave me a few fresh jalapeno peppers from his garden.  We usually do not eat anything “hot,” but sometimes a recipe calls for them, and I thought it would be a good idea to have some handy for when they were needed.

I took those fresh peppers and cut them up very carefully for freezing.  I knew the juice could be harmful if it got in one’s eyes or mouth, and made sure it did not get on my body.  I did handle them with caution, and after bagging them, I washed my hands very carefully three times. 

Much later, I washed my face. Not once do I recall getting a drop on my face, but when water got on my face, the pain began. Apparently, just the vapors of the “hot” vegetable got on my face, up my nose, and even down my throat. When rinsing my face, the waters activated the pepper’s juice and I had to deal with the agonizing pain for the rest of the day, and still felt some of the pain on my face the next day.

While dealing with the vegetable’s side effects, I could not help but think how sin affects one’s life very similarly to what I suffered from the jalapeno’s juice.  No, sin may not burn one’s face or immediately cause pain, but one does not even have to be in direct contact with sin to reap the damage it can do.

One may not commit adultery, but watching suggestive television or movies can put lustful thoughts in one’s life, changing how one thinks about being faithful in his marriage.   Perhaps, one never would even think about doing anyone harm, but after years of seeing violence on television, killing the “bad guys” on a video game, or seeing it much in a family or work situation, it may be easier for one to act more violently when angry.  Stealing may be one thing one would never contemplate doing, but after hearing of peers that shoplifted and did not get caught, it may now be considered a solution for one’s getting what one wants. One may never imagine himself being involved in a certain sin, but continual exposure to it by being around those involved in the sin or seeing it repeatedly via different media may have one considering such a sin or changing one’s thoughts to “it’s not that bad.”

Sin is so dangerous that distant exposure to it can affect one’s life. This is why God commands us not only not to commit it, but to stay as far away as possible from it.  Any contact with iniquity can desensitize one to it, and may break down any mental barriers one has in being involved with it. Exposure to sin may not burn your face as did the jalenpenos, but it may allow one to be one step closer to committing sin.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”  II Corinthians 6:17  Also: Isaiah 52:11, I Thes. 5:22.

 "One leak can sink a vessel and drown all.  One sin can sink one’s life as easily.”

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