My grandma once repaired one of my snagged sweaters. She noticed that a thread was looped, and the loop was getting bigger because I kept messing with it, making it worse. I had tried numerous times to push the thread back into place, jabbing it with my finger. But it still stuck out, snagging again, my sweater unraveling a little bit more. With thrifty, “grandma wisdom” she turned my sweater inside out, pulling the thread back to the place it shouldn’t have left. From the outside of my sweater it appeared as though the thread had been pushed – which, as I had learned, was impossible.

Something on the inside pulled stronger and wiser than what had originally snagged and pulled it from the outside.

Sin is like a loose thread on the sweater of life. It’s the result of getting caught – snagged – by temptation. Even the smallest sin can be like a loose thread that’s the beginning of a terrible unraveling.

Sin is never a thread sewn in isolation. Its connectedness impacts everything else woven closely around it. It’s a network of family, friends and even a fabric swatch of my own soul. The allure of a single temptation – the stray, twined thought poking from an otherwise nice sweater – might be the first step towards my final undoing. What begins as a curious tug could leave me out in the cold, wearing sweater remnants – a single sleeve or a thinning v-neck – while standing beside a pile of twisted thread splayed on the floor at my feet.

I keep hoping for a snag-free life – a simpler, safer and easier life that never falls prey to barbed temptations. Snags inevitably happen to everyone. All have snagged and fallen short of the glory of the original sweater.

How will I react to my next snag?

Maybe – just maybe – it will appear as though I “pushed” the temptation away, but actually what happens is that I chose to pull the snag from my insides – a decisive pull of my will.