More years ago than I care to remember, I was in my first internship as a minister, during the summer of 1986 between my Freshman and Sophomore years at Faulkner. I was working with a church in Calhoun, GA and was gaining great experience. I made some good friends that summer I was only 19 and the youth group had 18 and 19 year old students participating. Admittedly I was more of a peer than a minister. One of the 19 year old students was Kevin, who introduced me to real Mexican food. Kevin and I took one morning to go visit with a younger teen who was struggling with family and life in general. On the way we passed a public lake. Kevin wanted to go fishing for half an hour or so. I did not mind being on a lake, Kevin had Georgia fishing license, I did not; I agreed to be the motor on a rented row boat. We stopped in the middle of the lake and talked as he wet a hook and drowned a few crickets. On the way back to shore, he was taking a turn at the oars. I picked up his rod and reel, feeling it in my hands, it had a nice weight and balance. Without bait on the hook, I thought it would be safe to cast -- just once. I put my arm back and gave it a quick toss and reeled in as quickly as I could.
What I did not see, was the Game Warden sitting in his truck watching the lake. When we came to shore, he asked to see our license. That was an expensive $150 lesson.
Here is what I learned.
1. My desires led to a mistake. "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." (Jas 1:13-15).
2. Avoiding situations that provide temptation to sin (break the law) is a great way to avoid sinning.
I pray you can learn from my mistake.