Sin and the Sun

Monday, July 4, 2022

For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15, NIV.

It was July 4, and I was 12. Our family went to the mountains for a picnic by a stream. I decided a good tan would make me beautiful, so I spent most of the day in the sun. By evening I could feel the tenderness. Coated with lotion, I walked with my family to the University of Colorado stadium for the fireworks display and became increasingly miserable. By the time it was over I was violently sick, shaking with chills. Crying in agony, I thought I was going to die. And then a week later my "beautiful" skin peeled off! I learned a painful lesson that day. Too much of a good thing can be bad.

The same beneficial ultraviolet rays that destroy bacteria and help our bodies manufacture vitamin D are the major cause of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. But you can enjoy the warmth and delight of the sun if you take some simple precautions.

First, a little sun goes a long way. In fact, you can get enough sun to reap all the benefits even in bed, if you will just open a window and let the sun shine on part of your face for five minutes!

Second, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out, even if it's overcast, because ultraviolet rays penetrate the clouds. And if you're in and out of the water or perspiring heavily, be sure the sunscreen is waterproof, or reapply it often.

Third, wear a hat or loose protective clothing if not swimming, and sunglasses for eye protection.

Fourth, don't get burned. There's less danger in the early-morning hours before 10:00 or 11:00, and again in the late afternoon.

Fifth, eat a low-fat diet, because fat increases the production of defective skin cells, allowing ultraviolet rays to do more damage.

Sin is something like a sunburn. It can sneak up on you before you realize what's happening. At the moment it seems pleasurable. But afterward the consequences can be agonizing. Apply generously the sunscreen of God's Word, ask for Holy Spirit protection, and avoid temptation.

What is the sunscreen of protection against sin?
What can I do to apply it each day?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.