Unfortunately, the last car that my husband and I bought turned out to be a real lemon. Within the first year, the engine started having regular trouble overheating. At first, we took it to a mechanic who ran both modern [digital] and old fashioned [driving the car and checking everything under the hood] diagnostics to no avail. The car didn’t register any difficulties. So my husband googled it and found that many cars of this make-model had similar problems, and even certified dealers [who charged a great deal more money for the diagnostic] never could figure out why. In the end, we’ve learned several tricks that will keep the temperature gauge just below halfway while we’re driving…most of the time anyway.
So it surprised me when my husband went to use the car after me one day and asked, “When did the check engine light come on?”
“It’s always on,” I answered like umm, haven’t we been combatting this for the last year-and-a-half?
“No,” he said. “There’s a different light on now, in addition to the normal one.”
The normal one? What’s normal about a perpetual check engine light? But that’s exactly how a person develops a seared conscience. The scriptures warn against becoming desensitized to sin.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
When we sin, it illuminates a spiritual check engine light in our conscience. And because we have free will, we can choose to ask our spiritual mechanic [the Holy Spirit] to run a diagnostic on our hearts to figure out the trouble so that He can help us fix it, or we can ignore the light and keep driving. If we choose ignorance, eventually we’ll break down. Maybe not right away, after all, Satan told Eve that God was lying and, “You will not surely die”[Genesis 3: 4]. But you know the story. They didn’t die right away, but Adam and Eve aren’t still with us today. Genesis 5:5 records the sad truth, “Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.” “For the wages of sin is death” [Romans 6:23].
Those who choose to ignore their spiritual check engine lights might not feel the effects immediately, but scripture is clear, their lives will eventually break down.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
Pay attention to your spiritual engine and stay in regular contact with the divine mechanic. And remember that routine maintenance–daily prayer and Bible study–is advisable.