What I Realized about Swimming Pools, Sin, and Holiness

The day after we took our kids swimming, it clicked: there's a great illustration about sin and holiness in our experience.

Call it a revelation, insight, or a creative imagination, but a great illustration about sin and holiness came to mind the other day.  I might make a video about it later, not sure.  Meanwhile, I wanted to share it with you here.

My wife and I took our two youngest kids swimming the other day.  The weather was nice and warm, perfect for a nice evening romp at the pool.  When we arrived, our daughter put her feet in and said, “The pool’s cold!”  Olivia and I got in and coaxed our son join us (he hesitated because the water was cold). 

At first, the water was a bit cool, but we quickly adapted.  As we moved around, we discovered that when we got out of the water, we were cold.  Staying in the water was much warmer!

When Olivia got out to take our daughter to the bathroom, they needed towels to stay comfortable.  Upon returning, our daughter couldn’t wait to get back into the warm water!

After about an hour it was time to go home.  Reluctantly we got out, but we didn’t enjoy the cool air.  As we walked back to our apartment, though, our bodies adapted, and we were once again comfortable.  Correction, it was a bit warm (we are in Texas, after all).

The next day I realized that how we adapted to the weather and pool water illustrates how we often respond to sin and holiness.

How Swimming Relates to Sin and Holiness

Jesus said that sinners hate the light because it reveals the truth (Jesus is the light, by the way).  The light is uncomfortable to them.  To fix this, they need to allow their spirits and minds to adapt to the light.

The same goes for Christians.  The idea of sinning makes us uncomfortable (at least it should).  We dislike doing wrong.  However, the more we do it, the easier it becomes.

Whether entering the light or returning to the darkness, the initial reaction is discomfort.  Moving from sin to holiness (or holiness to sin) can be difficult, even agonizing.  However, just as the cool water became warm, as we adapt to the new spiritual environment, it becomes easy and even desired.

When we’re comfortable in one situation – sin or holiness – we’re not inclined to change our situation on our own.  We wanted to stay in that warm water, after all.  It takes an outside force to move us.

Change Requires a Changer

Just like we had to coax our son to get into the pool, we need someone to motivate us (or even help us) to move from sin to holiness or vice versa.  Who is that coaxer?

When moving from holiness to sin, the coaxer is either our flesh, demonic forces, or both.  They will tempt us to leave the light and to return to darkness.  Once there, we will be further enticed as we adapt and become comfortable so that we may not want to leave.

When moving from sin to holiness, the coaxer is the Holy Spirit.  He reveals our sin, points us to Jesus, and helps us move out of darkness and into the forgiving light that is God’s grace and holiness.

In both cases, the shift from one to the other may be difficult at first, but as we press on we’ll adapt.  We’ll find ourselves more at ease and more comfortable in our new situation, inspiring is to go deeper and deeper.

The question for us today is this: where do you reside, in sin or holiness?

Sin, like water, can be fun to be in, but it’s also dangerous.  You can drown in both.  Holiness, though, is like the air: it gives and sustains life.

Are you ready to move into the life-giving air of God’s grace and love?  Let the Spirit help you.  It may be uncomfortable at first, but through Jesus, you’ll adapt and even desire God more.

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