The command came from down the street. My neighbor and his three-year-old son were giving the family van yet another cleaning. Scolding myself for having no desire to follow their example, I leaned deep into the trunk of my car to fetch the green bean cans that had rolled free of their sacks.
“Drop it, son!” the man said again, more insistent.
“No,” the boy hedged.
Trying not to be obvious, I hoisted a few sacks out of the trunk and watched the standoff through the tinted windows of my son’s SUV.
Holding a mountain of blankets, books, and other items he’d assembled, the man paused on the way to his garage and looked back at his son, clearly expecting immediate obedience. A safe distance down the driveway, surrounded by glistening, wet floor mats, the cutest little rebel you’ve ever seen stood defiant, feet shoulder width apart, staring down at his own clenched fist with an intensity equal his father’s.
“Drop it, son!”
The boy began to roll and inspect the object, passing it from one hand to the other.
Raising his voice, the man took a step toward his son and barked, “Drop it now, son! That’s gross. Throw it down.”
Shaking his head “no,” the boy tucked his chin, took a step backward, and pressed the treasured item to his chest.
“Throw it down!” Finally, the man dropped the load he carried right where he stood and covered the distance to his son in a split second. With firm patience, he knelt and pried the object from the boy’s hand. “You can’t keep this, son,” he explained. “It’ll make you sick!”
With dramatic flair peculiar to three-year-olds, the little boy, bereft of what he thought was treasure, drooped his shoulders, threw his head back, and wailed.
I felt his pain.
It’s hard to let go of something that fascinates you just because someone told you to, even if that something is sin and even if that Someone is God. Maybe that’s because most of us don’t really understand what sin is and what it does.
Don’t be fooled. Sin is not a right, although it comes with being human. Sin is not a treat, although it often offers thrill. Sin is selfish rebellion against a just and loving God. Sind condemns. Sin enslaves. Sin steals, and sin destroys. Sin, my friends, is gross.
When the Father tells you to throw it down, He does so for your good. Obey Him quickly and with gratitude, knowing you’ve been spared, not robbed.