How Sin Deceives

From Grace Gems

The Deceitfulness of Sin!
by Jeremy Taylor

“Lest any of you be hardened through the
 deceitfulness of sin!” Hebrews 3:13 (read ESV here)

First sin startles him,
then it becomes pleasing,
then easy,
then delightful,
then frequent,
then habitual,
then confirmed!

I think this progression is particularly helpful in dissecting how sin takes root in our lives. I immediately turn to food.

As you know, I’ve been blogging about my New Year’s resolutions and my plan to eat intentionally. I confess that I have sinful issues surrounding food (overeating, emotional eating, idolizing food, and so on).

Sin is especially effective when it deals with our senses (first sin, anyone?). I’m startled all the time by the enticement of food. Oh! That looks good. Oh! That smells good. Oh! I have a craving for …

That “startling” often triggers a sense of urgency upon which I must act. I’m immediately rewarded because it tastes so good. Science has pointed out that eating releases endorphins (I think; it releases some chemical in the brain, anyway, that registers “pleasure”), so I’m pretty much hooked at this point. The “pleasing,” “easy,” and “delightful” aspects just affirm my engaging in this behavior. The “frequent” and “habitual” just serve to establish the habit and “confirm” it in the fabric of my character.

Think of Eve. Talk about being startled! A talking serpent with a “pleasing” proposition? It must have been quite startling to hear the challenge to God’s authority, character, and trustworthiness come from that snake’s mouth. The Scripture makes a point of saying that Eve found the fruit pleasing to her eye.

When were you last startled? Did that lead to a pleasing experience? Could it be the planting of sin? Guard yourself so that you see the deceptive progression of sin, which can prey on your sensibilities.