I was recently relaxing in someone’s hot tub when I recalled the story of the frog in the boiling pot of water. The reason for this recall is that when I got in, the water was only lukewarm, not at all as satisfying as I thought it would be, and to be honest, I was disappointed. Surely, Norm knew he hadn’t set the heater to the desirable temperature for a hot tub. I was looking around the pool area acting like everything was hunky-dory. I had been ready for it. You know that feeling when you stick your foot in the 100 degree water? It’s just, well, ahh…is the only way to describe what I usually feel. Not long after, my friend joined me and all seemed hunky-dory to her too, when I wondered if she was also only acting, or maybe was I instantly paralyzed from waist down and unable to feel warmth. (No, I didn’t take the Covid-19 vaccine) We began talking about, I’m sure, some really interesting topic, and I forgot all about how chilly the water was. The fact was however, that Norm had not forgotten to turn up the heat in the tub. He had done it from a controller inside his house. So, without my even realizing it, the temperature rose to at least 100 degrees in about 20 minutes. Yay Norm!
It’s the same with certain pleasurable behaviors that are inconsistent with what the Bible says. I can feel uncomfortable about a behavior at first and might feel guilty to even think of engaging in it, but as soon as I make the decision to jump in, be it from peer pressure, some inquisitive bends in my personality, or my people-pleasing habits, something happens. Not at first, but slowly. The heat gets turned up and my body slowly adjusts to it. It becomes comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that I decide to stay in. It’s at this point that I must get my gut feelings (my conscience) to calm down and to leave me alone. So I begin justifying my reasons to my conscience, explaining why I’m staying in. There are many reasons, I tell it, but for one, I’d be lonely outside the hot tub. Because everyone’s in the hot tub and nobody’s in the pool, I decide to stay. I get satisfaction from it. I get warmth and feel a certain kind of camaraderie. Because I was created to be in relationship, I feel I need the people who are in the hot tub at whatever cost to me. Because of these pleasures I’m receiving, I can become so used to it that before I know it, my conscience stops tapping my shoulder urging me to get out. My gut stops feeling queasy. Not long after, I’m in it with no bad feelings at all attached to myself. How can I get out if I don’t feel anything but the tingly, warm fuzzies? I mean, I can, but I think it might be a lot like deciding to swim the English Channel in the winter without swimming experience. Who in their right mind would do that? Nobody. So maybe before you get in that lukewarm tub, don’t.