When I first read this story it made me laugh, and then I realized “but by the grace of God goes I.” These British backpackers filmed themselves dangling this beautiful octopus over their skin. They are heard laughing as one buddy places it onto the arm of another.
Little did they realize that this octopus is extremely deadly; if it bites you, it will paralyze you immediately and you will stop breathing within minutes. This one little octopus has the power to kill 26 people with its venom.
Even once social media lit up with people telling them how dangerous this was, the backpackers responded by saying, “We made the news!!😂” failing to fully comprehend how near death they were.
This is much like sin in our lives. We can get so caught up in the moment, turning the camera upon ourselves and our great catch that we fail to comprehend the deadly force within our behavior. Even if we survive, we relish the momentary thrill and move on to our next dance with death.
We murder; we lie; we cheat; we steal; we commit adultery; we lust; we gossip; we hate; we orgy; we sow seeds of discord; we fall into fits of rage; we talk foolishly; we covet; we distort our anger; in exacerbation, we yell “Christ;” we are greedy; we are selfish; we are prideful; we work on Sunday; we have sex outside of marriage; we starve our marriage of intimacy; we disobey; we drink distractedly; we eat senselessly; we joke coarsely; we practice magic arts; we ignore the hungry, lonely, sick and imprisoned; we look out for ourselves; we hide; we fear; we worry; we dishonor our parents; we lear; we ogle; we talk unwholesomely; we debauch; we pad our reimbursement requests; we don’t do what is asked of us; we all like sheep have gone astray, each of us turning to our own ways.
[Spend a moment looking at that list…about which ones did you say to yourself, “I get what he is saying, but Wes is going a little far on that one” or “eh, that one is not that bad.” That may be a way to identify the blue ringed octopus you have dangling before you.]
Paul tries to warn us of the deadly nature of our sin when he writes, “the wages of sin is death.” The result of sin is death, and while the wages may not be paid immediately, they will paralyze us and trap us into a deadly spiral that robs us of the breath of God–just like the blue ringed octopus.
Not only will our sin lead to a physical death, but sin also has the power to poison our relationships, numb our emotions, and eventually kill us spiritually.
Yet, like these two backpackers, we are clueless.
But, can you blame them? Look at the beauty of this octopus; it is alluring.
Such is the power of sin. The reason we commit sin behaviors is because, quite frankly, it feels good. It temporarily satiates a deeper desire we have. We gossip because we want to feel important to others. We lie so we can avoid the uncomfortable ramifications. We drink so we can distract ourselves. We sin because it is pleasurable.
Now that you know how deadly this octopus is, watch this video and listen to the guys’ foolish laughter. I now squirm watching them.
This is why a spiritual community is so vital. We need others who are wiser, who can see what we are doing, who have seen the insidious nature of sin and who are bold enough to speak the hard truth to us. It is in this type of community that someone will rise up and scream “Stop! Put that down! You are going to kill yourself!”