It was early. I was in a hurry.
Shower? Check. Deodorant? Check. Next? Teeth.
Reaching for the toothpaste with my right hand, I put my left hand into my toiletries bag and ran my fingers along the inside, blindly searching for my toothbrush. Did I mention I was in a hurry?
But my fingers didn’t find the handle or bristles of my toothbrush. Instead, the tip of my middle finger grazed squarely along all three blades of my Mach 3 razor. You know. The razors Gillette proudly advertises as having THREE blades? Three very SHARP blades? Yeah. The tip of my middle finger came in abrasive contact with all three.
Here’s what I didn’t do. I didn’t stick my hand back in that bag an hour later, twelve hours later, or twenty-four hours later looking to rub the tip of my middle finger along those blades again. Nope. I’m not anxious to re-experience that sensation.
Here’s what I did do. I took the Mach 3 razor OUT of my toiletries bag in order to avoid even the POSSIBILITY of inadvertently rubbing my fingers along its sharp blades again.
Makes sense, right?
Here’s the problem. And it’s a more serious problem than intentionally shredding my skin like cheese along a grater. In the past, I’ve taken my God-given conscience and knowingly gnashed it against the razor blades of sin. Over. And over. And over again. Repeatedly indulging in that which I knew to be wrong.
Here’s my guess. You can relate.
The bottom line? The New Testament warns us about the very real danger of “searing” our consciences (1 Tim 4:1-3)—branding them to the point that they are completely calloused and unfeeling. We can deaden our spiritual nerves to the point that sin no longer bothers us at all.
My brief and very unpleasant experience with my Mach 3 razor has stuck with me. I’m doing my best to frequently remind myself of that distinct pain and apply it to the harsh reality hiding behind temptations.
- Lies will deaden my sensitivity to truth.
- Lust will deaden my sensitivity to purity.
- Jealousy will deaden my sensitivity to contentment.
- Anger will deaden my sensitivity to self-control.
- Rivalry will deaden my sensitivity to selfless love.
- Complaining will deaden my sensitivity to joy.
- Worry will deaden my sensitivity to peace.
- Rudeness will deaden my sensitivity to kindness.
- Hypocrisy will deaden my sensitivity to faithfulness.
Temptation may be alluring. The initial “hit” from sin may be gratifying. For a moment. And then? The pain sets in.
In reality, when we willfully allow ourselves to wander the forbidden pathways our heavenly Father has warned us about, it’s roughly akin to shredding our God-given consciences with the razor-sharp blades of iniquity. Disciples of Christ who are sober-minded and watchful (1 Pet 5:8) are willing to guard their hearts, change their circumstances, and do everything they can to avoid even the possibility of damaging or destroying their consciences.
The good news made available through Jesus Christ is that healing is possible. Our deepest wounds can be repaired. The consciences we’ve put on life-support can be revived.
But the choices to sin have to change.