Sucked into the Sewer
Bible Reading: James 1:12-16
Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. James 1:14
“I think it sounds cool,” Kara said in a hush. “I want to find out what it’s like.”
Janine knew Kara smoked. Last summer when Janine stayed at her cousin Kara’s house, Kara showed her some cigarettes and started to light up. When Janine threatened to call her parents—and never do a sleep-over again—Kara promised she would never bring the cigarettes out again. Kara had kept her promise—so Janine never told her aunt and uncle or her own parents. But now Kara was talking about smoking pot.
Curiosity can be like a crocodile loose in the sewers of New York City. You hardly even know it’s there. But then it suddenly climbs out of the drain, seizes you by the throat, and drags you down into the muck. And this beast isn’t a figment of your imagination.
Curiosity can either be a blessing or a nightmare. There’s a whole world of good things to be curious about. You can wonder what a career is like—and go explore. You can imagine what white-water rafting is like—and go try.
But often what we’re most curious about are the things that God says are off-limits. God says they’ll hurt us, but we don’t believe him. God says they’re out of bounds, but we spend time poking our nose through the fence, imagining what it would be like to take part.
That’s when curiosity suddenly turns into temptation. James explains how it works. “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15, NIV). As sure as allowing a crocodile to thrive in the sewer will turn you into a snack for a hungry reptile, letting wrong desires grow will snatch you into sin.
Follow these two tips when you catch yourself wanting what you shouldn’t:
• Deal with your curiosity immediately. If it’s a desire for something wrong, talk to God about it before it has a chance to grow big teeth.
• Surround yourself with friends who share your values. Promise each other that you’ll talk sense into each other if your desires ever draw you into dangerous situations.
Your curiosity is one of God’s greatest gifts to you. But be on your guard when your curiosity causes you to desire evil things. God wants better for you!
TALK: How can curiosity pull you into places you shouldn’t go? How can you fight against that?
PRAY: God, we want the right things. Ignite our desires for you and everything good.
ACT: Who can you talk to when the lure of doing wrong grows strong? Pair up with a friend who can help you guard your heart.