OFF THE PATH.
You remember the story. You heard it first when you were just a little kid the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
Remember, she's the girl who disobeyed her mom (bad choice!), listened to the wolf (even worse choice!), and left the path to pick some flowers to take to her sick Grandma (dum da dum dum!). While Red Riding Hood was off picking posies, the wolf ran ahead, ate Grandma, and slipped into Grandma's bed. When Red came along, the wolf fooled her into thinking he was her loving Grandma. (Little Red Riding Hood obviously needed contact lenses.) After a few moments of dialogue, the wolf pounced on Red and ate her, too. Happily, however, a woodsman happened along, found the wolf sleeping, killed him, and cut him open, saving Grandma and Little Red Riding Hood. (OK, so it's not The Lion King, but you can't have everything!)
That classic (and somewhat gruesome) fairy tale is a great illustration of what happens when you make the wrong choice by turning aside from the right path (the one to Grandma's) to pursue useless things (picking a bouquet of flowers-although this is not always a bad choice).
For us as Christians, the evil that lurks off the godly path is just as dangerous as the fate that awaited Red Riding Hood. Every wrong choice we make every bad decision, every moral slip leads us off the path of righteousness and toward a lifestyle of sin and death. Yet, for all our confidence that by following the crowd we're going in the right direction, things never seem to work out that way.
Using bad language to feel grown up, taking drugs to feel cool, telling off color jokes to feel popular all of these things are sin, and they will all lead you on a dangerous and destructive path.
Believe this: Sin never delivers what it promises. Never. Never ever. It won't make you grow up, it won't make you cool, it won't make you popular. Sin just gets you into trouble.
Believe this, too: God will never disappoint you; he wants to do good things for you.
Just keep your feet on the right path.
REFLECT: What steps do you take when you find yourself following the crowd and turning away from God? Remember that a "wolf" can disguise itself in many ways like in the proverbial "sheep's clothing" in an attempt to make the evil it does seem harmless. Keep your eyes open for sin's many disguises.
PRAY: "Lord, day by day help me choose the path you chose for me. I want to turn from sin and look toward you. Guide my feet on your path."