In 1939, a coast guard vessel was cruising the Canadian Arctic when the men spotted a polar bear stranded on an ice floe. It was quite a novelty for the seamen, who threw the bear salami, peanut butter, and chocolate bars. Then they ran out of the food. Unfortunately, the polar bear hadn’t run out of appetite, so he proceeded to board their vessel. The men on ship were terrified and opened the fire hoses on the bear. The polar bear loved it and raised his paws in the air to get the water under his armpits. We don’t know how they did it, but eventually they forced the polar bear to return to his ice pad — but not before teaching these seamen a horrifying lesson about feeding polar bears.
Some people make the same mistake with sin that these sailors nearly made with the polar bear. They begin feeding it — a little at a time without thinking through the consequences. “It says something about our times,” writes Willard D. Ferrell, “that we rarely use the word ‘Sinful’ except to describe a really good dessert.”