It was the middle of the summer. I was twelve years old. My brother and I were sitting in the back seat of our brown 1990 Buick Sable. It was day three, of a road trip across the country. My family was moving from Pasadena, California to Nyack, New York. Needless to say, I was restless. My parents’ had lots of creative strategies to keep us occupied but after three days of driving they were beginning to run low.
As my parent’s ideas started to dwindle, my creativity started to peak. I started coming up with idea after idea of ways to annoy my brother. Just about every time it would result in my parents telling me to stop doing whatever it was. Naturally, being the obedient son that I was, when I was told to stop I would. I would spend some time carefully crafting the next strategy. The goal was to get as close to the line as possible and not getting into trouble.
It was in those hours that I made a brilliant discovery, a discovery that would become an incredible tool for years to come. I learned that if I sucked on a straw just right, with my mouth in the right position, I could shoot whatever liquid was in my cup about six feet. In this case, it was most likely ice cold Coke and I only needed about three feet. I then proceeded to squirt Coke at my brother from across the car. I got off two or three solid shots before Jon realized what was going on. He told my parents what was going on and I played dumb and pretended like I didn’t know what he was talking about. I got him again. My parents then knew for sure that I was guilty.
Looking back, I know I was wrong. I probably should not have tormented my little brother as much. I realize now that I was doing everything I could to get as close to the line of right and wrong as possible. I learned that I could justify it with a technicality explaining that I did not do the “thing” I was told not to do.
As I read Romans 6, I was hit by verse 15 and 16, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace.” Often times we ask the question, “How close to the line can I get without actually crossing it?” and with out it actually being a “sin”. This is the wrong question. The question we should be asking is, “What is my Father’s heart and how can I please him?” We need to flee from sin and run towards what is right! As followers of Jesus we need to do what we can to please our Father and live for Him