White Shoes

Watching London grab Eve’s baby food the moment she stepped out of the tub, poised to undo all the washing I had just tediously and thoroughly finished, jolted me into thinking about sin, about getting dirty.

I was thinking about how the longer we can go without sinning, the cleaner we’ll stay. The quicker we step into sin, the more likely we are to surrender to it. It’s like wearing a new pair of white tennis shoes. You try so hard not to get them dirty. And the longer you succeed, the longer you try. I’ve gone weeks, maybe a month with pristine white shoes. I tried so hard because I’d succeeded so well.

I know this because other times I’ve stepped into mud within minutes of putting on my new shoes and in that moment I lost all resolve to keep them clean. They were already dirty. Why try?

I feel this way about sin. If I can fight and win, I’ll keep fighting and probably keep winning. But if I lose right at the outset, just after I’ve repented or decided to begin again, then I’ll probably just let go, give in, let myself get dirty.

I think this principle puts a lot of pressure on those first post-repentance moments. We cannot let ourselves fail at the outset. I think that’s why encouragement is so essential for new Christians and returning ones. When we’re maybe at our weakest it’s most important that we be strong.