Playing With Fire

Lion 2

By now you’ve probably seen the news coverage about the young woman who was killed by a lion that she was caring for.  While it’s true that going into a lion enclosure is dangerous and inadvisable, I have no interest in taking her to task for going into a lion cage.

I believe that the death of anyone is a tragedy regardless of whether or not we might think that they “should’ve known better”.

This isn’t the first time that interaction with a caged animal has resulted in the death of a caretaker.  Whales, cats, and reptiles of all kinds have recently been in the news for behaving like… well predators.

What stands out to me in this recent story is the almost
unanimous description of the deceased as “fearless”.

This was a young lady who understood the risks involved with entering the lion enclosure.  She also understood the rules about whether or not she was allowed to do it.  She knew what she was doing when she walked into the den of Cous Cous the Lion, and then she went and did it.

What happened to her is exactly what the rules and regulations
were trying to prevent.

By nature, the Lion is built to kill and dismantle.  Giving him a name like Cous Cous didn’t do anything to soften him or change his character.

I’m not going to use this post to ridicule the young woman for entering the cage because it would be a cheap and easy way to poke fun at someone for doing something that we all do on a much greater scale every day.

Each of us interacts with disobedience and sin as people who are fearless; We do things that we know are wrong, believing that there aren’t going to face the consequences of our behavior.

It’s not like the regulations that God has given us aren’t clear.

It’s not like we haven’t seen the track record of how sin hurts us.

It’s not like God hasn’t made it clear that sin hurts him.

Sin is a predator that seeks to kill and dismantle; Scripture even uses a lion to illustrate the desires and abilities of Satan.  Our problem is that we rename sin, trying to lessen its nature and consequences.

Fearlessly we describe sins as:

“Hooking Up”

“Blazin'”

“Getting Wasted”

“Terminating Pregnancies”

“Playing the Field”

“Keeping it on the D.L.”

You get the point right?

Fearless doesn’t always mean courageous.  Sometimes it means foolish.

Every time I choose to sin I am demonstrating that I don’t “fear” God.  This is the kind of “foolishness” that the Scriptures explicitly describe in the book of Proverbs.

Spending any time ridiculing someone for doing something physically, while ignoring something that we all do spiritually, is pretty petty and shallow isn’t it?  It also ignores our personal needs in pursuit of self-justification.

Tragedies like this convict me to be grateful for the life that I have been given, and push me to look inward at the work that God is seeking to do in my own life.  Would you join me in that process?

Sin is as deadly as a lion.

I can give it a cute name,

I can treat it like it is harmless,

But this doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

It just makes me foolish.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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