Ever been rock climbing? I scaled one of those fake rock walls once as a kid on a family vacation, so I’m about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10 for my rock climbing expertise. But I do know this about rock climbing: You need footholds as you climb so you can push yourself off of them and move upward.
That rock climbing memory came to mind recently when I read Ephesians 4:27: “Do not give the devil a foothold.” This section of Scripture talks a lot about anger and our words. And I suddenly pictured my sin giving the devil something to climb on to get closer to me. Every time I gossip, snap at someone, give someone the silent treatment, or hang onto resentment, I’m giving the devil opportunity. I provide footholds for him to scale the wall up to me and take over my heart, words, and actions.
These sins don’t always seem serious, but the devil’s an opportunist. He’ll gladly take the small footholds we give him here and there and make the most of them for his own gain. If you’re not convinced he’s that dangerous, check the Bible for the countless stories where we see people’s sin start with something seemingly harmless and spiral out of control.
Here’s one way we can keep the devil away from us and others: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).