I'm Not Touching You
When we were young children, my sister and I would tease and pester one another constantly. Looking back, it seems that most of the time we were simply trying to see how mad we could make each other. To that end, one of us would sometimes pester the other by extending a hand, pointing a finger, and moving the tip of the finger as close as possible to the other without actually touching them. Then, the instigator would repeatedly taunt the other by saying, "I'm not touching you." To our naive minds, it was the perfect tool with which to irritate. After all, since one was not actually touching the other, nothing wrong was being done, right?

Tragically, some Christians treat sin the same way my sister and I pestered one another. That is, they consciously draw closer and closer to sin without actually committing the sin. Walking carelessly along the median separating the narrow road that leads to righteousness from the broad road that leads to destruction, they reason that since they have not committed the sin, then nothing wrong has been done. Yet as we all know, when a person moves closer and closer to a fire, it is only a matter of time before they will eventually be burned.

Friends, this "I'm not touching you" attitude toward sin is an extremely dangerous attitude, and the Bible provides us with an excellent example showing how one man learned this lesson the hard way.

In the thirteenth chapter of Genesis, we read of the conflict that emerged between the herdsmen of Abraham and those of Lot, Abraham's nephew. Because of the conflict, Abraham (then known as Abram) suggested that he and Lot part company, and Abraham allowed Lot to choose the land that he would use for his flocks and herds. In Genesis 13:11, Lot chose the plain of Jordan upon which the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah stood, and he journeyed east. We read in Genesis 13:12, that Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, pitching his tent even as far as Sodom--a city where, as we read in verse 13, the men were known to be "exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord."

In chapter 14, we find Lot living in Sodom and at ground zero when the Lord moves to destroy the cities of the plain in Genesis chapter 19. The final result of Lot moving closer and closer to sin and wickedness is that he lost his wife, other family members, and all that he had when the Lord destroyed the cities of the plain. Lot, a man who was once quite well off, was reduced to living in fear and dwelling in caves.

Friends, although Lot was not actually "touching" (i.e., committing) the sin and wickedness found within Sodom, he caused great misery for himself by placing his family so close to sinful people. In the New Testament, Lot is remembered as "righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)" (II Peter 2:7, 8).

Dear listeners, instead of seeing how close we can get to sin, we should heed the words of the Apostle Paul written to the church at Thessalonica, "Abstain from every form of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:22). To "abstain from every form of evil" simply means that we must avoid every appearance of evil and wickedness. In other words, if something looks wrong and sounds wrong it should be avoided! For some this may be hard, but if we want to avoid a fate worse than Lot we must flee sin--not play with it.