Have you ever caught a glimpse of the untapped potential of your sin? Have you ever seen something, heard something, or been around something that awakens the ugly inside of you?..
I'll be the first to tell you that the Lord has done some great works in me and has molded and shaped me a great deal over the past number of years in my young life. I will also be the first to tell you (mostly because I don't know who else would talk to you about this, haha) that the Lord is not even CLOSE to being done with me. All of that being said, there are certain 'things', be it situations, conversations, etc., that I avoid because I know that they are likely to bring out the ugly that is hiding in my heart. I know that those things can be keys to unlocking old, ugly sin in my life and I don't even want to give them even a chance to be put into my hands.
You see, here's the analogy I think of. Sin is like a scary animal locked in a cage. When I don't have access to the key, it is much easier for me to keep sin locked away. When I'm holding the key, the temptation to let that sin out is so much stronger. It is knocking at the door, begging to be set free, and when I don't even hold the key, I can just look at it and say, "sorry, no can do.. I don't even have a key!" When I do hold the key (get around the things that I know cause me to sin), it's a little harder to resist keeping the harsh judgements, ugly remarks or thoughts locked in the cage.
[I'll admit.. third grade analogies help me in life and the situations I'm in.]
Anyways, as you can tell, I found a situation the other day that just popped up out of nowhere and caused the scary animal in my heart to come out. I'm working (and always will be) on turning straight to Jesus in those moments and asking Him to put the scary animal back in the cage for me when I don't have the strength.
We cannot always avoid those situations. I don't think God designed it so that we'd be forever protected from things that tempt us to be ugly. I think that He wants us to learn how to follow closely with Him when they do come. Praise the Lord that we can ask Him to help us have eyes to see those situations coming so that we can prep our hearts for the battle ahead of time.