I was 19 years old the first and only time that I hit a dog with my car. I was traveling on a lonely stretch of I-40 from Albuquerque, NM to Altus, OK at about 10pm. It was dark and I was one of several cars pacing slightly above the speed limit when out of nowhere a dog bolted across four lanes of traffic. I slowed down as much as possible, but was unable to swerve, as there was a car in the lane next to me. The front, left bumper clipped the dog in the back left hip. This caused the dog to spin into a summersault landing in the medium.
During this time, I had been chatting on a CB radio with my then-husband who was in the truck in front of me. As soon as I hit the dog, I yelled over the radio “DOG DOWN!”
I was so upset to think I may have killed the dog. I pulled over to check the dog. Several others pulled over too.
The gentleman who had been in the car one lane from me said, “Thank you for not swerving….you would have hit me for sure and then we’d both likely have gotten hurt.” By then I was crying. A local man offered kind words by saying, “Don’t worry…that dog lives right over there and runs into the interstate a couple times a week. This isn’t the first time he’s been hit.”
How many times in life have you been the dog…running into traffic…running straight into the hurt you’ve already experienced…running straight into sinful behavior?
Continued sinful behavior hurts in many ways:
- It hurts us personally.
When we sin, we typically end up hurting ourselves in some capacity. Lot’s wife hurt herself with sinful behavior. She disobeyed her husband’s instructions, given by a loving God. She then faced very serious consequences by giving into the temptation of sin. “But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back and she became a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:26)
- It hurts others.
Catastrophic events can occur for others when we continue to sin. For instance, when King Herod was angry about the birth of Jesus (Matthew 2:3), he ordered the death of all male children in the Bethlehem region who were under two years old (Matthew 2:16). In Herod’s rage, his sin caused tremendous hurt to the children and families in that area.
- It creates more sin…more hurt.
Often sinful behavior creates more sinful behavior. In Genesis, we see Eve sin by eating from the one tree that was forbidden. That sin creates a scenario where she tempts Adam to commit sinful behavior. In turn, hiding in shame and covered with lies also becomes sinful behavior.
Sin can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss but know this…we are all sinners. Every single one of us! And we all have the opportunity to accept this amazing gift of forgiveness and salvation. After accepting that gift, continuing to deliberately sin is a cycle that creates hurt to yourself, towards others and it potentially cycles into more sin.
You become the dog that runs into traffic repeatedly, even at the cost of hurt.
This week I want to encourage you to turn from sinful behavior…it’s only causing some type of hurt.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
~1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)