3-Second Rule

We’ve all seen it.  Someone is about to bring a tasty morsel up to the mouth when it slips and drops to the ground.  The person grabs it as fast as possible and exclaim to all in the room, “3-second rule!”

This rule, for any unfamiliar with it, states that bacteria will not contaminate the food that is dropped on the ground for a certain amount of time.  Some have called it the 3-second rule, while others have said 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 23.7 seconds, or whatever amount of time they still feel comfortable eating something from the ground.  Recently, scientists at Britain’s Manchester Metropolitan University decided to test this so called “rule.”  They found that many processed foods lived up to the 5-second-rule or more (sliced ham, cookies, etc), while others were contaminated in 3 seconds or less (Pasta, dried fruit, etc).  I suppose this discussion is far from settled, but it does appear that some foods actually live up to some of these “rules.”

All of this talk is pretty silly and trivial for the most part, but something much more significant are people who take a “3-second-rule” mindset towards sin.  Far too many people are willing to give in to sin “for just a little while.”  We compromise ourselves with statements like:

“It’s ok if I see a bad movie like _________ just this once.”

“It wont hurt me to _________ with my friends.”

“Just a little bit of _________ isn’t a big deal.”

In Christianity, there is no 3-second rule.  Scripture says that all “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) and separates us from God (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2).  Ephesians 4:27 says plainly, “do not give the devil an opportunity.”  The point is, we allow ourselves to think that “just a little bit” of sin is not a big deal.  But is this the way God sees it?  What sin does He consider small and insignificant?

Meanwhile, Satan is looking for just the tiny and most insignificant of opportunities.  He is looking for the smallest of footholds to begin climbing back into our lives.  Too often it starts with a “3-second-rule” mindset towards sin.  Let’s not let the Devil have ANY opportunity in us.

Let’s never pick spiritual trash off the ground and bring it into our lives, no matter how “safe” or “dangerous” we might think it is.

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