The north shoreline of Jekyll Island, GA is littered with dead and dying trees. This hauntingly beautiful place is called by several names: Driftwood Beach, Graveyard Beach and Boneyard Beach, to name a few.
The shoreline did not become like this overnight. The shallow water and small waves found here have caused the Atlantic Ocean to slowly but surely take over land that once thrived with plant life. The salty sea water was absorbed by the trees that required fresh water and they began to die. Then, hurricane and tropical force winds caused them to tumble.
Sin has a similar affect on lives. It creeps in slowly and replaces that which was pure and refreshing with that which is unhealthy and destructive. Then come the storms of life and there are no deep roots or firm foundation to hold you up and you tumble hard. The Bible describes it like this:
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
Temptation stirs up evil desires within you. You can't help that - you were born with a nature for it - but you can stop it right there with God's help. However, when you give into those desires then that "small sin" grows and matures into that which ruins your life and the lives of those around you. It will eventually lead to physical, and even worse, spiritual death.
Keep that sea of salty temptation away from you and fill your life with the living water of Jesus Christ in order to live long and stand strong in the world... and listen to the words of Paul and James found in Scripture:
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7-8)