|Familiarity breeds contempt. Every year, The Parachutist Magazine publishes an article called the Fatality Summary. The report analyzes the factors contributing to parachuting deaths from the previous year.
Paul Sitter wrote in his Parachutist Magazine article “Worst in a Decade,” the parachutists are first classified as students. After 20 jumps, they receive the A license; after 50 jumps, they earn their B license; after 100 jumps, they receive their C license; after 200 jumps, they earn their D license. One would think the fatality rate would decrease in proportion to the increase in the parachutists’ experience, but this is not the case. A 2012 fatality summary revealed 80% of all parachuting fatalities were suffered by elite parachute jumpers with a D license.
Why would elite parachutists suffer more fatalities than inexperienced jumpers? More than likely, they failed to take necessary precautions because of overconfidence in their experience. They didn’t consider themselves susceptible to error . . . until it happened. By then, it was too late to pull the safety cord.
Every Christian knows the dangers of sin. Scripture tells us Christ died because of God’s hatred of sin. The trouble is, pride in our perceived spiritual maturity often causes us to overestimate our own strength, underestimate sin’s dangers, lower our guard, and neglect to take necessary precautions. It isn’t long before we are in a dangerous free fall.
Years of spiritual progress cannot deter temptation. The same fires which burned in our hearts as new believers still rage within, waiting for the tiniest morsel upon which to feed. Instead of considering ourselves to have mastered sin, wisdom admonishes us to keep it from mastering us. Let’s maintain our ground by passionately and emphatically hating sin, resisting the devil’s lies with biblical truth, and avoiding compromising situations. Vigilance will be the key to our spiritual safety.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.