I’m a beekeeper and my family will occasionally help with the inspections and honey collection. We wear bee jackets, screened hoods with jeans, closed-toe shoes, and gloves. We nearly always have the smoker lit and ready to puff. I carry a spray bottle filled with sugar water to ‘distract’ the girls. It’s as much protection as we can prepare for against their natural defense mechanism to sting predators.
Still, they manage to sting us occasionally. Usually, it’s when I get careless or move too quickly around the bees. Sometimes it’s when I least expect it, such as several yards away from the hives on my way back to the house.
One sting leads to another. Why? The bee’s message via stinging is a loud call to all her sisters that they are under attack. If one bee stings, others will follow.
Beekeeping is like committing sinful behavior.
Once we become Christians, we try our best to protect ourselves against scenarios that tempt us into sin. I remember in my adolescence; new Christian teens would purge their music collections of secular music. I’ve seen couples create joint social media accounts to avoid the temptations of some sins. I specifically avoid the New Age/pagan/occult portion of bookstores. Perhaps people start to dutifully pray against certain sins. Job changes, blocked websites, financial overhauls, moving churches…the list goes on and on about how we try to protect ourselves from falling into sin.
1 Peter 4-5 are great chapters instructing us on the battles of sin. It opens with Jesus conveying that while on the cross, He sacrificed everything in the battle against sin. Literally everything; including his life. The verses continue with Paul calling us to also give everything against sin in our lives. Paul continues by encouraging and providing instruction that when we live fully for Christ, we tend to pull away from the longing to be involved in sin-filled behaviors.
There are practical ways to guard against sin, such as avoiding certain books, changing social media activities, or even changing music habits. The longer-term way to align with less sin is to draw closer to the Lord. Increasing our prayer life, daily Bible reading, and surrounding ourselves with accountability partners are all additional ways to try to prevent one sin from becoming multiple sins.
Like with bees, sin can circumvent the protective measures in place. One sin often leads to more sin…just like the stingers of one bee leads to others following suit. So we must acknowledge sin in our lives and safeguard against it. We then begin guarding against known stumbling blocks…just like the beekeeper who wears appropriate clothing and is prepared against stings with smoke and sugar water.