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Would You Eat an Ant?

Campers playing rock paper scissors

We might not all be tempted to rob a bank or murder someone, but we are all tempted to sin in different ways! Too often we might wrongly think we have “little” sins that aren’t that big of a deal. From Kelli’s lesson from eating an ant, she tells us how we can address those and go the opposite direction!

Scripture

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 

Proverbs 14:12

Reflect

It seemed harmless.  My six-year-old friend wanted to farkle with me.  The loser would have to eat an ant from her brother’s ant farm.  I’m in.  What could an ant hurt?  It’s TINY.  1,2,3 shoot.   I lost.  She giggled with delight as she served up the ant.   For good measure, I squeezed it a little as I put it in my mouth and swallowed it down.  It was an itsy bitsy ant, no big deal.

No big deal…until I got home and my stomach was ACHING.   I thought I was going to die.  That teeny tiny ant had some kind of toxin that had me doubled over in pain.

It was a little ant.  It seemed harmless.  I would have NEVER agreed to eat a tarantula or snake … those seem dangerous.

Isn’t that just like sin.  Drugs?  No way.  Robbing a store?  Never.  Sharing only part of the truth that benefits me … maybe.  Complain when things don’t go exactly my way…maybe that too.   It’s easy to let the seemingly “little” sins happen.  But they will end up affecting us in the exact same way.  Death.   Not literal, life-losing death … but we will lose something. 

We could lose our reputation, opportunity, grades, friends, trust.  There will be a death of something … even when it seems like it’s not a big deal in the moment … that it won’t hurt anyone …

How can we handle times when we’re tempted to go the route of “little” sins, and how can we help equip our kids to do the same?

  1.  Set up an escape plan.  God is serious about sin.  He wants to protect us from the consequences it will surely bring.   He asks us to “flee from all evil”.   Recognizing/giving attention to the sneaky sins we feel tempted toward can go a long way toward fleeing from them.  Then let’s decide how we can run from these temptations.
  2. Surround ourselves with good folk.  We will always surround ourselves with people … voluntarily or not. Let’s be cautious of what folks ask us to do, think or consider. We also need to be alert about what folks do around us. Are they good influences?
  3. Try again.  We will find ourselves “following the way that seems right to us” and will lose a bit of the goodness the Lord has for us.   He will forgive us.  He promises.  And we need to take that forgiveness and extend it to ourselves and others.  Learn from what we have done wrong … and turn the opposite way from it.

I never ate another ant and most certainly learned my lesson.  The smallest wrong decision hurt.  There was a consequence that I never saw coming and never wanted to see return.  So by God’s grace let’s pay attention to the littlest of things to do well and to do as Christ wants us to do.

Camper Corner

Grab the magnifying glass of life.   Discuss the little, sneaky temptations in your life.  Each person name two (count them 1. 2) seemingly small sins that could sometimes trip you up.   How can you stay away from those?

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