Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay—every time. An inebriated man stumbled into the house one night and worked his way over to the couch. His head was spinning. His eyes were bloodshot. His breath smelled of alcohol. He looked disheveled.

The man’s wife walked in and saw the man of her dreams sitting there, wasted by his addiction. She grabbed a camera and snapped a picture. Then she put the picture on the mantle of the fireplace beside their wedding picture.

When the effects of the alcohol wore off, the man noticed the pictures on the mantle. He saw the wedding picture and thought about his beautiful wife, his lucrative job, and his respected position at church. Then he saw the second picture: what he had become as a result of his poor choices. He wept as he realized he was on the verge of losing everything he had cherished. At that moment, he decided he would never return to the bottle again.

All sin—great or small—carries destructive consequences. It ruins lives, destroys relationships, and impairs our ability to reason. Worst of all, it blinds us to the extent of its devastation so that we follow it deeper and deeper to our peril.

But even at the height of our rebellion, God is merciful. He does not overlook our sins, but mercifully provides warning flags—family members, friends, and the Holy Spirit—to turn us from the error of our way. We are wise to take heed.

Has God been trying to get your attention about a certain area in your life? Don’t wait until you have lost everything to start listening. Let today be the day of your victory.

None are so deaf as those who won’t hear. — Proverb

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.