Pastor's Pen: Monkey in a box

Sometimes we think we can control something when all we’re doing is attempting to keep a monkey in a box. It’s entertaining to watch monkeys at the zoo or on TV. They jump all over, get into things they shouldn’t and entertain. But could you imagine trying to keep one in a box?

You would probably place it there and tell it to stay. It may for a few seconds, but then start peering over the edge and making noise. You would try to quiet it down and attempt to cover the top, but people around would notice something strange going on. “What is he doing with that?”

If you went over to talk to them, the monkey would escape and start ransacking the house. You would have a HUGE mess! To prevent that you would have to keep such focus on the monkey in the box, you wouldn’t be able to do anything else. And, in spite of all your efforts, it would eventually get out. Keeping a monkey quiet in a box and not drawing any attention to it is pretty much impossible.

The same is true of sin. We tend to think that we can control it. We can keep it hidden away in a box. “No one will notice.” “It won’t affect my life.” But it does.

Sin doesn’t want to be in a box. It wants to escape and affect every area. It has no desire to be contained. The only way to ‘control’ sin is to get rid of it. Ephesians 5 has much to say on this topic. Look at these verses:

“… there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed … nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or course joking … have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness.”

We’re to have NOTHING to do with sin. God says to get rid of it completely. It won’t stay in a box and it will distract you from following God. What sin are you trying to hide? Confess it to God and a good Christian friend who will pray with you. God will forgive you and strengthen you and your friend will encourage you as you get this monkey off your back.