My job sent me to Thailand for a week, and a guy I was traveling with mentioned that he didn’t want to get an STD. Another man in our group responded, “You know the best way to not get muddy? Don’t go near the mud!”

There’s a ton of truth in that piece of farm-boy wisdom.

How often do we see just how close we can get to crossing the line, to flirting with disaster, to falling in the mud? Then if we make a mistake in judgement and cross a line we are devastated. We scratch our head and wonder how we could have ever gotten so muddy. The answer is pretty simple – we played too close to the mud.

Maybe your mud is gambling. Maybe it’s alcohol. Maybe it’s lust. Regardless of which temptation is calling your name, the answer is to stay far away from it. Not see how close you can get.

If we want to be exemplary men – fathers and husbands of integrity who are looked up to by the generations who follow, then we’d better hold ourselves to a higher standard. We’d better not even go near the mud.