After studying abroad in South Africa, I was ecstatic about spending a couple of days at a wildlife reserve.
As a lifelong animal lover, I relished the opportunity to see African creatures in their natural habitat. Checking into my cabin, however, my excitement morphed into terror as I stared at several large signs posted around the building: DO NOT LEAVE DOORS OR WINDOWS OPEN. WILD MONKEYS WILL ENTER. Possessing a deep-rooted fear of monkeys, the warnings sent shivers down my spine. Despite quadruple-checking my doors and windows to ensure they were locked tightly, I still slept with one eye open, fearful that a curious monkey might try to investigate his new neighbor.
While I no longer dwell in the presence of wild monkeys, I still reflect upon those warning signs and envision a slightly different one that constantly cautions my heart: DO NOT LEAVE DOORS OR WINDOWS OPEN. SIN WILL ENTER.
Adam and Eve’s son Cain provided a striking example of the consequences of leaving a door open to sin. After presenting offerings to the Lord, God looked favorably upon Abel’s offering, but did not upon Cain’s. Observing Cain’s dejected demeanor, God asked Cain why he was angry and then told him how to bring an acceptable offering. Unfortunately, Cain left the door to sin wide open and allowed jealousy, resentment, and rage to flood his heart—leading him to murder his brother.
Although Cain’s story serves as a dramatic illustration, the lesson is clear. If we do not keep the door to our hearts latched tightly, sin easily creeps in, leading us down a destructive path. We must keep a careful watch on what we allow our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to receive.
While wild monkeys can certainly cause serious destruction, sin is the most destructive of all. We need to see if there are windows and doors to our heart that we have left open. If so, we should ask God to guide us on how to keep those vulnerable openings guarded.
Are there windows and doors you need to close?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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Emily Marszalek enjoys the simple pleasures in life with her best friend, Nick, and their two Goldendoodles, Charlie and Lucy, in the Pacific Northwest. Her writings have appeared in publications including Angels on Earth, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Listen to Your Dreams, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Blessings of Christmas, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kindness Matters, CBN.com, The Lutheran Digest, Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Daily Inspired Life, and Insight.