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Sex: Temptation’s Duct Tape

October 10th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 5: 22-23 (NLT)

22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
      they are ropes that catch and hold him.
 23 He will die for lack of self-control;
      he will be lost because of his great foolishness.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

In the course of human history, many world-changing inventions have been made.  The wheel.  The printing press.  Indoor plumbing.  The automobile.  The airplane.  The Clapper.  From Gutenberg to Galileo . . . Franklin to Ford . . . Eli Whitney to Andrew Wharton (mainly known for new word inventions), great minds have left their mark upon history and upon the daily course of our lives.  But one invention stands head and shoulders among the rest in its pragmaticism, usefulness, and appeal.  No, it’s not plastic.  It’s not the cell phone.  Think deeper.  

Duct tape.

Does another product exist that possesses such strength and simplistic beauty?  Whether broken tailpipes or broken bones, duct tape will always do the trick.  You may disagree with me, but as you drive down the road unwisely reading this blog on your cell phone, just be aware that beneath the hood in front of you–deep inside the many compartments of your engine most of us will never see– the intricate and delicate key components of your motor are probably held together by duct tape.  Hey, have you ever been in there to look?  (All mechanics please disregard this question.)

I’m no stranger to duct tape’s strength.  I’m also personally aware of the dangers of duct tape if harnessed for the forces of evil.  On more than one occasion in my youth, duct tape was the weapon of choice (either by my brother and his friends or my buddies from high school) used to restrain me.  You haven’t lived until you’ve been “playfully” attacked by seven or eight of your closest friends and then duct taped by them to a pole.  I blame the individuals, not the duct tape.

Besides its utility, duct tape is pleasing to the eye.  In the modern age, an assortment of colors now exist in the duct tape world; but I’ll always be a sucker for the classics– good, old fashioned gray.  Hey, everything goes with gray (or so I’ve been told).  One must also take note of its texture–one side is as soft as a big charcoal pillow.  Sometimes, I just rub it against my face for comfort.  However, don’t let the soft side lull you into a false security.  For if you flip that piece of tape, you will encounter the source of duct tape’s power: adhesive.  How can something be so beautiful, yet so powerful?  Reminds me of myself a bit . . . but I digress.

I’ve often used duct tape as an illustration when speaking to various groups of people.  I usually pull a volunteer onto the stage and place a strip of duct tape on their hands.  Then, I ask them to remove it, which they do with ease.  Next, I place a slightly larger strip of duct tape and again, they escape with little effort.  I continue this scenario until I’ve wrapped it around their hands two or three times.  Amazingly, no one ever gets out of this one!  It is an amazing phenomenon that just a few more strips of this adhesive miracle can completely restrain someone.

The thing is, though, no one knows when they have too much on their hands to escape until it’s too late.

As we wrap up chapter five of Proverbs and Solomon’s words of wisdom to his son about sexual temptation, we encounter a passage that should open our eyes to the nature of this issue.  The allure of sex is a lot like duct tape.  It’s appealing to the eye.  It can create strength in a relationship.  All around, it’s an amazing part of life.

But accessed improperly, it’s effects can be devastating.  Just like my little illustration, it’s unfortunate that so many “mess around” with sexual temptation in little segments, always thinking they can break free just in the nick of time.  The problem with temptation is, there’s a good chance that before you know it, it will “catch and hold” you “captive.”

Most of those who want to please God don’t set out with the deliberate intention to make a huge sexual mistake.  No, it usually happens much more subtly.  It begins when we allow little strips of temptation to adhere to our lives.  An innocent date with the wrong person.  A few minutes of alone time in the wrong place.  A curious click of the mouse.  An unwise conversation that you know is going too far.  It begins small.  However, we must be aware that it doesn’t take long to be completely held “captive” by sin.  

Don’t feel guilty about this; instead, be aware.  Everyone must fight his or her own personal battle against the adhesive nature of sexual temptation.  Just like the benefits of duct tape, let sex have its proper place in your life: in marriage and in marriage alone.  Outside of that, don’t make room for the “little pieces” of temptation.  Of course we will all face temptation and the Bible is very clear that being tempted is not wrong.  However, we must begin to ask and trust the Holy Spirit in our lives to lead us away from the wrong situations, now matter how innocent they may appear.  Our actions (in inaction) in the present are the keys to our actions in the future.

That being said, I stand by support of duct tape and its place in history as a world-changing stroke of brilliance.  Use it wisely.



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