At work one day we were having a potluck and one of guys had brought his special recipe hot wings. His recipe was to blend the habanero chili peppers into a paste, mix it into a little Tabasco sauce, and bake it into the chicken wings.
So he called one of his buddies over saying, “You’ve got to try my hot wings and tell me what you think!”
His buddy grabbed a wing, stuck the whole thing in his mouth, and got about half way through pulling the bone out when the realization hit him that his mouth was on fire! Finally, after lots of water and stuffing anything other than those chicken wings into his mouth to try and put out the fire, he dried the tears in his eyes and got himself composed. Then you know what he did? He went looking for someone else to try those fiery chicken wings!
After the first couple of guys were fooled into eating those wings, with the same predictable results, enough people had gathered and witnessed their demise that they weren’t going to be able to fool anyone else. But then the strangest thing happened.
Guys who had seen for themselves what the others had gone through decided to try the wings for themselves! They were a little more cautious, not sticking the whole thing in their mouths, but kind of nibbling around the edges, yet the results were still pretty much the same. And it went on until all the chicken wings were gone!
You might think the moral of this story is “guys are stupid,” and given the facts, I would have a hard time arguing with you. But as all this was playing out, I started thinking how the spreading heat from those wings was just like the way sin spreads.
The one who made the sauce, knowing how hot it was and what would probably happen, still called out to his friend, “Hey, come on and try my chicken wings!” – He is like the false prophets spoken of in Matthew 24:11 seeking to mislead. "And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray" (NIV).
There are many people who will mislead you if you let them.
The one who first tried the wings and burned his mouth still called out for others to come and try them too – He is like the one who has fallen, and rather than picking himself up and putting up warning signs to keep others from the same fate, he calls out to see if he can get others to join him in his misery. As Proverbs 4:16 says, "For they [evil people] cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble" (ESV).
There are those who take pleasure in causing others to stumble.
And what about the ones who saw what was going on, but just had to try it for themselves? They are the ones who blindly follow the masses, even when they know they are going to suffer. And the result? Matthew 7:13 says that “… the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it” (NASB).
There are those who beckon to you to follow them on their road to destruction.
On that particular day I was one of the few who didn’t eat the chicken wings. But in my life, in the things that truly matter, that hasn’t always been the case. What about you?