A single sin is not an isolated act. If unchecked by genuine repentance, a pattern of behavior is formed that propels toward ruin. Breaking a promise, for example, becomes a habit, a soul-destroying way of life.
A pastor from a previous generation wisely warned:
“The preservation of integrity should be superior to all other considerations, and it is a miserable confession of weakness that the love of life or limb has been stronger than the love of virtue . . . It cannot be too earnestly inculcated upon the young that to break a pledge is apt to be followed by the total ruin of one’s virtue. Transgression is not a transitory thing. The single act is soon done and over, but it leaves an influence behind, which, like the adder’s poison, may grow and operate and spread until it reaches the seat of life and triumphs in the ruin of the victim.”
Source: James Henley Thornwell, The Collected Writings of James Henley Thornwell, vol. 2. 1875 (Banner of Truth, 1986), 559.